NEWS

Minister slams Athens metro strikers for holding commuters ‘hostage’

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The government will not tolerate one small group of unionists holding thousands of commuters “hostage,” Transport Minister Kostas Karamanlis said on Tuesday, lashing out at strikers on the Athens metro who walked off the job from the start of the morning shift until 10 a.m.

“The government will not be strong-armed or blackmailed,” Karamanlis said in comments to Skai TV on Tuesday morning as the Greek capital was gripped by morning rush-hour traffic jams on almost all its key thoroughfares.

Workers on the Athens metro object to a decision by the company’s management to transfer workers from their regular posts to other positions where there are staff shortages. Karamanlis said this decision affects just 21 employees.

The minister added that the government will mull measures to minimize the impact of industrial action in public transportation by requiring a minimum number of workers to stay on the job in order to ensure service.