Strike costing Greece 3 mln euros per day

The Greek government is losing revenues of 3 million euros per day due to ongoing strike action by stevedores at Piraeus Port (OLP), which has resulted in 10,000 containers piling up on the docks, the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry (EBEA) said yesterday. Constantinos Michalos, president of EBEA, Greece’s largest chamber of commerce, said cargo vessels have taken 1,500 containers to alternative ports this week as the blockade at Piraeus, the country’s largest, enters its 15th day today. «The continued strike action by workers at Piraeus Port has brought Greek businesses to a dead end,» Michalos said in a statement. The dockworkers are protesting a 35-year concession agreement awarded by the previous conservative agreement to China’s Cosco, fearing job cuts. Cosco was scheduled to take over OLP’s cargo management services on October 1, as stated in an agreement ratified by Parliament last year, but the port has been shut since the start of the month. Economy, Competitiveness and Merchant Marine Minister Louka Katseli has brought workers and Cosco to the talks table to renegotiate the deal «from the beginning.» «I will ask workers to submit in writing their positions over labor issues addressed by the agreement,» she said, but refrained from commenting on when she expects the protest action to end.