Eleven municipal garbage collectors arrested on Friday on the grounds of Thessaloniki’s Aristotle University, where they had held a 70-day sitin demanding backpay, are to face a prosecutor on Monday.
The protesters, who face charges of disturbing the peace, were rounded up in a pre-dawn raid early Friday after first instance prosecutor Angelos Mademlis ordered a police intervention following a request submitted by 44 academics for authorities to end the siege. Responding to the arrests, about 100 municipal workers and students took over the university’s administrative offices early on Saturday. Meanwhile, the ThessalonikI Labor Center called for the resignation of the university’s rector, Yiannis Mylopoulos, whom it accused of “derisive tactics” after he asked a prosecutor to send officers to the campus and then asked police to release the workers.
The 70-day sitin resulted in garbage accumulating on the campus, sparking a feud between students and leftists supporting the workers with the latter seeking to prevent the former from cleaning up the piles of garbage. The protesters claim to be owed money by the university for campus cleaning services outsourced to the private contractor that employs them.