Manpower Organization workers protest labor mobility scheme

Dozens of the workers for Greece’s state-run Manpower Organization (OAED) staged a rally on Monday that kicked off a 48-hour strike, in protest at government plans for streamlining the public sector, in line with demands from the country’s creditors.

OAED workers’ representatives met early in the day with Administrative Reform Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who advised them to take up their demands with the Labor Ministry, which is in charge of the organization.

The protesters then marched to the Labor Ministry in central Athens, but were unable to secure a hearing with Minister Yiannis Vroutsis, while later in the day they rallied outside OAED’s offices in Alimos on the southern coast of Athens.

“The labor minister and the management of OAED are responsible for staff mobility at the organization. If 250 workers are let go from OAED, then it will no longer be able to function,” union chief Giorgos Makrakis told the state-run Athens-Macedonia News Agency.

The union plans to stage another rally on Tuesday morning outside the organization’s headquarters in central Athens.

“We will not allow the deconstruction of OAED,” the union said in an announcement.

Greece has to transfer 25,000 civil servants from their current positions by the end of the year as part of its bailout commitments.