Three separate rallies held at different times of the day are expected to cause major traffic and public transportation problems in Athens and Thessaloniki on Thursday, as unions protest a government bill for boosting economic growth that is due to be ratified in Parliament.
After holding a motorcycle rally and march on Wednesday, the POE-OTA union of local authority workers will be back on the streets of the capital on Thursday, gathering at Karaiskaki Square at 11 a.m. and marching to Parliament to voice its opposition to a clause allowing municipal services, including sanitation, to be outsourced to private companies.
Then, at 5 p.m., public sector union ADEDY has called for a strong turnout at Syntagma Square for the same reason, arguing that outsourcing will result in the loss of thousands of jobs. ADEDY has also taken issue with parts of the bill that restrict the right to strike.
Adding to the frustration of commuters and motorists, meanwhile, supporters of the communist-affiliated PAME union will be gathering at the Propylaia in front of Athens University at 6.30 p.m. and then marching to Parliament, demanding protection for collective labor agreements.
The northern port city of Thessaloniki will also experience is share of traffic woes, as similar rallies are being planned there, starting at 11 a.m., 12 noon and 6.30 p.m.