NEWS

Bus drivers to continue strikes, stoppages

It appears the Christmas weekend will prove just a brief lull in the strike action that disrupted life in Athens over the past couple of weeks, as bus drivers are to walk out again in the coming days and civil aviation employees seem determined to stage their own protest.

Whereas workers on all modes of public transport had been on strike or taking part in work stoppages on most days over the past couple of weeks to protest recently passed legislation paving the way for 10 percent wage cuts and the transfer of some personnel to other departments, it is just bus drivers who have announced so far that they are continuing their action.

They have announced that they will be staging a work stoppage from early Wednesday until 10 p.m. On Monday, January 3, buses will only be available from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., while on Wednesday, January 5, they will not be in circulation between noon and 4 p.m. On January 10, the work stoppage will be from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is possible that over the coming days workers on other modes of public transport will decide to join in these stoppages, or call their own.

«It is up to the government to decide in what way it wants to confront the workers,» the head of the bus employees’ union, Nikos Kouloubaritsas, told Skai TV. «The workers are ready. Let’s see if the government is ready as well.»

Meanwhile, a court ruled illegal a planned strike on December 29 and 30 by members of the Federation of Civil Aviation Authority Unions (OSYPA), which does not include air-traffic controllers. The union objects to the transfer of 732 former Olympic Airlines employees to other positions. OSYPA is due to meet today to decide what action to take next. Members have said they are determined to find a way to express their opposition.