Unions launch new wave of strikes over public sector cuts
Public services are to be disrupted on Tuesday again as the country’s civil servants’ union (ADEDY) launches its second 48-hour strike in less than a week to protest an overhaul of the public sector.
Secondary school teachers, hundreds of whom have been inducted into a so-called mobility scheme involving transfers and layoffs, are on Tuesday to continue with a two-day walkout launched on Monday following their five-day strike last week.
Employees at social security funds and municipal and local authority workers, who have also been included in the mobility scheme, also started a two-day walkout on Monday.
Until late Monday night, the private sector workers’ union, GSEE, had not called on its members to join Tuesday’s strike by civil servants. But the union called a four-hour work stoppage for Tuesday, starting at 11 a.m., and called on its members to join a protest rally in central Klafthmonos Square organized by ADEDY.
The two unions are to hold a joint anti-racism rally at 6 p.m. on Wednesday in Syntagma Square to protest the murder of a leftist rapper last week by a supporter of the ultra-right Golden Dawn.
It remained unclear on Monday whether unions would be able to draw strong support for their strikes and protests. The participation rate in strike action by teachers, estimated at 90 percent last week, has fallen to just 20 percent, sources told Kathimerini.
The number of sit-ins at schools is growing as pupils join teachers in protesting the mobility scheme but the movement has not gained serious momentum.
In a related development, the senates of Athens University and the National Technical University of Athens announced on Monday that they were closing the intitutions as they were unable to function following the government’s decision to put hundreds of administrative employees in the mobility scheme.