Another week of transport woes

There will be no service on the Athens metro, the Piraeus-Kifissia electric railway, the tram and the suburban railway (Proastiakos) on Monday as workers protesting the government?s ongoing austerity drive hold the latest in a series of 24-hour strikes.

Buses and trolley buses will not be running between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. today as workers walk off the job to hold meetings and decide on how to continue their protest action.

Last week a series of strikes by public transport employees, who are protesting the government?s plans to put thousands of them on a heavily docked salary for 12 months before reassessing their status, led to major congestion in and around the capital.

Taxi drivers, who are protesting the government?s plans to open up their sector to competition, are also planning a 48-hour strike for this week, probably for tomorrow and Wednesday, though the dates will be finalized today.

The head of the Attica taxi drivers? union, Thymios Lyberopoulos, insisted over the weekend that cabbies would not back down on their demands despite suffering heavy losses during a three-week strike in August that paralyzed the tourism sector.

Unionists representing public transport workers also said they would scale up their action as soon as the government makes good on its threat to dock the wages of thousands of employees for a year as part of a so-called ?labor reserve scheme? that workers and the opposition parties have condemned as a back door to layoffs.