The surprise strike by air traffic controllers yesterday – who announced that they would be joining a 24-hour strike by civil servants only three hours before it began at midnight – caused chaos at the country’s airports as nearly 300 flights were canceled. The air traffic controllers’ action led to rare criticism from the leaders of the civil servants’ federation, ADEDY, who said the controllers should have warned four days in advance. Airlines protested that they did not have enough time to warn passengers not to go to the airport. Only one flight per destination was carried out. The Transport Ministry said it would take controllers to court «to defend public interest and to seek compensation for any problems caused by the exploitative and bad-willed behavior of the controllers.» Civil service offices, public hospitals and schools were affected by the strike, which was in demand of higher wages. A march by about 1,000 strikers snarled up traffic in central Athens.