Metro is back but new strikes begin

Athens metro services are to run as normal today after employees called off a 24-hour work stoppage. But thousands of other workers in different sectors are to walk off the job this week, starting a new wave of strike action in protest at impending pension reforms and other austerity measures. Metro workers, who had been due to strike today in a continued protest against the nonrenewal of contracts for 286 colleagues, are to meet tomorrow to decide whether to resume their action. They called off today’s planned strike yesterday after a court deemed their continued action illegal and abusive. A three-day walkout by metro workers last week led to increased congestion on the streets of the capital, as thousands of Athenians who usually rely on the metro took to their cars. Adding to commuter woes, a series of work stoppages by employees of the Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE), scheduled for tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday, will disrupt rail services across the country. The participation of members of the Communist Party-affiliated labor union PAME in a 24-hour strike called by the union for Wednesday may also affect public transport. The country’s two main unions, the General Confederation of Greek Labor (GSEE) and civil servants’ union ADEDY, have already called a general strike for June 29 to protest pension and labor relations reforms. Another area that will be seriously disrupted over the next two weeks is the legal sector. Lawyers are to stage rolling 24-hour strikes from Wednesday through July 7 to protest the impact of new tax measures and imminent changes to the pension system. The coordinating committee representing the country’s bar associations decided on the action last week to protest the impact of the government’s tax reforms on its members.