Strike to paralyze services again

A general strike tomorrow by workers protesting the government’s new austerity measures is expected to ground planes and seriously disrupt public services and transport in the capital. The 24-hour strike, the latest in a series of protests called by the civil servants’ union, ADEDY, and the country’s umbrella labor union, GSEE, has been organized as a reaction to tax increases and reductions in holiday pay in the public sector that were voted through Parliament last Friday. As on February 10 and 24 when similar strikes were staged, services will be scant and the capital will be inaccessible for much of the day as three protest rallies are planned. Public transport will be crippled with no services on the metro, buses, trolley buses, tram, railway and suburban railway. Only the Kifissia-Piraeus electric railway (ISAP) will be operating between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. All flights, incoming and outgoing, will be postponed as air-traffic controllers walk off the job. Ferries will remain moored at ports across the country as seamen join the action. Schools and tax offices will close and hospitals will operate with emergency staff. Courts will also be closed as lawyers and clerks stay at home. Meanwhile the piles of trash on the streets are expected to grow as landfill staff continue their protest action. The largest rally planned for tomorrow, by GSEE and ADEDY, is to start at Pedio tou Areos at 11 a.m. while another rally, organized by the Communist-affiliated labor union PAME, is to start at Omonia Square at the same time. Half an hour earlier, members of the police force, fire service and coast guard will march from the Old Parliament Building to Syntagma Square.

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