City Hall contract workers end sit in

Some 2,000 City of Athens short-term contract workers, including refuse collectors and nursery school teachers, were due to return to work on Friday after they ended their almost monthlong sit-in protest at City Hall.

The contract workers had been demanding a change to the law to allow their jobs to be made permanent but called off their action after a Supreme Court ruling on Thursday.

The court decided that any public sector contract staff hired before May 2001 who continued to work in positions vital to the functioning of their departments should be given open-ended deals.

Although the judgment does not apply to most of the City of Athens protesters, it is seen as favorable for their legal battle.

The municipal contract workers have also obtained a commitment from Mayor Giorgos Kaminis that he will take up their cause with the government. ?We have suspended our action to give the municipality a chance to take initiatives,? said unionist Vassilis Polymeropoulos. ?If it does not put into action what it has promised we will return with more hardline protests.?

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