Airlines cancel flights for general strike Wednesday

Airlines cancel flights for general strike Wednesday

Greece’s main airlines announced domestic and international flight cancellations and schedule changes for Wednesday due to labor unions for air traffic controllers and civil aviation workers participating in a nationwide general strike that day.

The 24-hour strike called by the country’s private and public sector unions is expected to shut down most services across the country and disrupt public transportation in major cities. The unions are demanding an increase to the minimum wage, which currently stands at just over 700 euros (dollars) per month for salaried workers, and lower taxes.

“Our country’s workers, both in the public and in the private sectors, are battling against the high prices that are strangling households and citizens,” ADEDY, a confederation of trade unions for civil servants, said in a statement. It said the greater cost of power, fuel and basic goods was cutting into workers’ salaries.

Aegean Airlines and its subsidiary, Olympic Air, announced 50 domestic flight cancellations and amended the schedules for another 42 flights, most of them international.

Air traffic controllers plan to take part in Wednesday’s strike by engaging in a six-hour work stoppage, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. local time. Members of the civil aviation unions are expected to participate in the full 24-hour strike.

In Athens, subways will operate only for about six hours, and taxis were set to stay off the streets from 6 a.m. Wednesday until Thursday morning. Unions planned to hold protest marches in the city on Wednesday morning.

Buses were to run for 12 hours starting at 9 a.m., with all early morning and late evening runs canceled. Ferries to and from the Greek islands were to remain tied up in ports from midnight Tuesday until midnight Wednesday.  [AP]

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