In the wake of Tuesday's traffic mayhem in Athens as a result of a metro strike decided at the 11th hour with the participation of a handful of workers, the Infrastructure Ministry is drawing up a provision that stipulates there should be adequate staff available to ensure that a minimum of scheduled services on the public transport network take place before a strike can be called.
The amendment will reportedly be ready by the end of the year and be tabled in Parliament early next year.
Workers on the Athens metro, who called Tuesday’s strike on Monday afternoon, object to a decision by the company’s management to transfer 21 workers from their regular posts to other positions where there are staff shortages.
Commenting on the staff walkout that left thousands of commuters stranded and motorists caught up in traffic jams all over the Greek capital, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said that the “government will not be blackmailed by 21 people who were simply asked to do their jobs.”
“Legislation for standby personnel will be immediately enacted. I apologize for the inconvenience suffered by Athenians,” he said in a tweet.
According to official data, just 25 workers took part in Tuesday’s five-hour morning strike called by the metro workers’ union, SELMA, which has a membership of 857 workers.
The new legislation that is being drafted stipulates that enough staff will be available so that a minimum of 20-25 percent of scheduled services go ahead during mobilizations.
The difference compared to existing legislation is that it sets a minimum percentage of services and not a minimum number of employees.
The current law provides for the presence of a minimum number of workers during mobilizations – not to ensure that services will be provided but for security reasons so that they can intervene in the event of an emergency event.