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‘Brakes’ on public transport in Athens from Monday on

06 January 2011 / 10:01:35  GRReporter
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The form of the protests starting Monday is to be decided at a general meeting between the transport trade unions, said the chairman of the union of underground workers Nikos Kouloumbaritsis. Another unionist said the strikes could continue throughout the whole week from Monday to Friday, MEGA TV announced.

Alexis Tsipras said at a meeting held today between unionists in the transport sector with the leader of Sinaspismos coalition: "The government decided to erode the public transport by shrinking its operations and increasing the tickets by 40-50%. Its purpose is to enable private owners to speculate and suffocate society without giving any importance to employees and without assessing the incredible impact this will have on the society’s backbone."

SYRIZA leader noted that public transport in all civilized countries of the Western world is funded by the state. Alexis Tsipras added that in Greece "governments choose to fund only private transport leading public transport to a disastrous indebtedness which has accumulated numerous debts. And now they want employees and passengers to pay them change," said the news agency ANA-MPA.

Employees of the underground, the electric train and the buses stopped work for four hours between 12 pm and 4 pm, and trolleys and ring train moved as usual. Workers in trams also decided not to go on the 24-hour strike as announced a few days ago but protested for five hours between 11 am and 4 pm, when they did not work. The leaders of trade unions of public transport employees did not reach to an agreement during the meeting concerning the requests and how the protests will continue. It is only certain that they are determined to urge strike activities on Monday.

The drivers at the underground notified that their ‘bosses’ did not understand properly and that the unions have not announced a 24-hour strike. Their press release says that "the management of the underground considered the protests to be announced by the press and not by the unions and has filed a suit against union employees because of a fictional 24-hour strike on Wednesday, January 5, 2011." The announcement says that unionists have not appeared in court because the management really has indicted them for a strike which was never announced.

At the same time, public transport tickets price is expected to increase from February 1 because of the government decision that this would increase the companies’ revenues on one hand and would reduce state funding on the other. According to sources from the Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks, the relevant committee will be proposed to approve two types of tickets. One will cost 1.20 euros and will cover only one route and the other will cost 1.40 euros and will apply to all means of public transport for 1 hour and a half, reports APE-MPE.


Tags: NewsSocietyTransportUndergroundBusesStrikeProtestsTrade unions
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