ECONOMY

Cargo left to rot in Piraeus as dock workers prolong strike

The continuing strike by Piraeus stevedores trapped thousands of imported goods in the port city’s harbor, as dock workers across Greece are taking part in a 24-hour strike of the General Confederation of Greek Labor (GSEE) today. Port users are already feeling the impact of the strike and registering initial economic losses. This has forced the board of the Panhellenic Association of Shipping Agents and Professional Port Users to call on dock workers to temporarily suspend their industrial action «until the return of the Merchant Marine Minister from China» so that the port stays open in the meantime. «For the benefit of consumers, society as a whole and the Professional Port Users we represent, we are requesting you to make every possible effort to continue the industrial peace that existed in Piraeus,» the association said through a statement. The group’s president, Yiannis Theologitis, told Kathimerini that he was optimistic about the issue’s resolution. «I expect the two sides will realize their responsibilities for the current situation in the port and will seek to achieve a mutually acceptable solution for the benefit of society,» he said. MSC, a well-known international cargo shipping company, said that if the strike goes on then «it is unavoidable that shipping companies will stop patiently watching the two sides fail to reach a solution, which will keep the country’s first port from operating and its trade and industry moving forward.» MSC said through the statement that it hopes port workers realize the negative effects of a prolonged strike. «Unfortunately, this has not happened so far, and the company is now obliged to take all measures necessary to contain as much as possible the great damages it has suffered,» the statement said.