Truck drivers mull next move

Truck drivers kept their vehicles parked alongside major highways outside Athens and Thessaloniki yesterday, vowing to continue with the second week of a work stoppage in protest at reforms opening up their sector to competition that were voted into law on Wednesday. Unionists held meetings yesterday and are due to meet again today to decide on their course of action amid reports of a split between the union representing truck owners and the union representing fuel truck drivers. The truck owners are reportedly set on continuing with a work stoppage that has snarled traffic on major highways and wreaked havoc on deliveries, leading to shortages in supplies across the country. Yesterday, a Thessaloniki prosecutor called on police to arrest truck owners who have been parking their trucks at key junctions of the national road outside the northern city for several days in a row, causing serious traffic disruption. Most of the trucks that had been parked along highways on the outskirts of Athens had withdrawn by late yesterday. Meanwhile, fuel truck drivers are said to be considering calling off their action. This would avert fuel shortages at gas stations of the type provoked by extended protest action by truckers at the end of July. But the fuel truck drivers’ action has caused problems in another area. Residents of eastern Attica yesterday complained that their sewage tanks had not been emptied for days. Concerned citizens contacting the Transport Ministry about the problem were reportedly told to pursue the matter with local police and prosecutors.

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