Gov’t orders trash collectors back to work

The government on Tuesday used powers usually reserved for national emergencies to order garbage collectors back to work following an ongoing strike that has led to thousands of pounds of trash piling up on the streets of the capital city.

A civil mobilization order issued in the Government Gazette called for protesting municipal sanitation workers, who have entered their 18th day of industrial action, to get back on the job or face the risk of arrest, though the move appears not to have rattled the striking workers, who have blocked off access to landfills across the country and attacked private company workers commissioned by the City of Athens to clear garbage from vulnerable areas, such as schools and hospitals, around the city.

Speaking on Skai television on Wednesday, the vice-president of the union representing municipal workers warned that sanitation workers are prepared for an ?all-out? clash with the government if it insists on using private companies to manage the capital?s waste.

City of Athens General Secretary Thodoros Livanios, meanwhile, said on Wednesday that the civil mobilization order applies to all sanitation employees in Attica, though he admitted that the process of serving the workers with their orders will take time.

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