Firings protest leads to sit-in at City Hall

School guards, cleaning staff and teachers who were placed in a labor pool and are now due to lose their jobs took over City Hall in Athens on Tuesday to protest their plight ahead of a 48-hour strike called by civil servants’ union ADEDY due to start on Wednesday.

The building was occupied until around 9 p.m. on Tuesday by the protesters, who forced their way in at around lunchtime. Riot police were posted outside City Hall as around 400 people gathered in front of the building to offer their support to the demonstrators, who draped banners inside and outside the municipal headquarters.

“We want to highlight the problem of sackings ahead of the 48-hour ADEDY strike and we are calling on all workers to support us,” Nikos Adamopoulos, a member of the executive committee of the POE-OTA municipal workers’ union, told Kathimerini from inside City Hall in central Athens.

MPs and members of SYRIZA, Independent Greeks and the Communist Party visited the protesting workers to express their support.

The City of Athens suggested in statement that the protest was instigated by SYRIZA in a bid to win support ahead of local elections on May 18 and 25, adding that incumbent Mayor Giorgos Kaminis had opposed the sacking of local authority workers.