The union of local authority employees (POE-OTA) staged a rally in the center of Athens yesterday during their work stoppage. Municipal workers are demanding ‘real raises,’ stating their opposition to wage freezing. They are also expressing their disagreement with the hirings of ever more contract workers, which they say have soared in the last 15 years, and with the privatization of local authority services. POE-OTA also accuses the government of trying to hire staff through unfair procedures and is calling instead for the hiring of permanent staff. ‘We cannot accept any more armies of hostage employees and a further increase in flexible and badly paid jobs,’ was the workers’ message. Other civil servants also participated in the rally, which was under the umbrella of the civil servants’ union ADEDY.