Bus drivers hold out as other public transport workers return to work

Bus drivers in Athens have decided to hold out until Tuesday with their strike despite staff on trolley buses, and the Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE) returning to work on Monday.

The public transport workers had called their strikes in support of metro, tram and electric railway employees last week over wage cuts in their sector.

However, trolley bus staff revealed on Monday that they had been invited to talks with management.

“Management has called us for talks and we always said we would call of the strike if there was a willingness to hold discussions,» Apostolos Raftopoulos, the head of the bus engineers’ union, told Skai TV.

Bus drivers decided to continue their strike, meaning that normal service could not resume on bus routes, whereas trolley buses and OSE trains were back in circulation on Monday afternoon. The Proastiakos suburban railway is also due to resume service on Tuesday.

Development Ministry sources said the government would not make any exceptions to the new, single wage structure for the public sector.

A first instance court in Athens decided over the weekend that the new strikes were illegal.

The first instance prosecutors’ office launched a preliminary investigation on Monday after the workers failed to appear for their morning shifts.

The Council of State over the weekend rejected an appeal by metro workers against the government’s decision to order them back to work.

Metro trains to Athens International Airport were stopping at Doukissis Plakentias station as a result of Monday’s strike as the remainder of the line is operated by OSE.

Public Power Corporation workers have called a 24-hour strike for Thursday in support of the metro workers and to protest the government’s use of civil mobilization to end their strike.