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Friday prelude to the coming week of strikes

02 November 2012 / 17:11:02  GRReporter
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Anastasia Balezdrova

Athenians remained without an electric train and underground today after the employees in both public transport companies decided to strike on the last working day. The surprising news came late last night. The most surprised were the passengers, who were forced to travel by overcrowded buses.

Next week is expected to begin similarly. Employees in the underground and tramway transport have decided to strike while holding at the same time a general meeting to decide whether and how to participate in the general strike that trade unions have announced for 6 and 7 November.

Their message indicates that the strike on Monday, "a day before the vote on the austerity measures in parliament" would be just the beginning of a series of similar protests.

The trade unions of public (ADEDY) and private sector workers (GSEE) have announced the holding of protest meetings and processions on Tuesday and Wednesday, when the parliament will vote on the new austerity measures.

"We will strike to prevent the adoption of the measures. We will not allow the government to adopt any measure that would make the Greeks even poorer," ADEDY’s general secretary, Ilias Iliopoulos, said.

During the strike, hospitals, health centres, treatment centres for chronic diseases and first aid will operate with a minimum number of employees. By decision of the Panhellenic Association of Pharmacists, pharmacies will close on Wednesday.

The protest meetings are scheduled for 11 am on Tuesday in "Pedio tou Areos" Park and for 5 pm in Syntagma Square on Wednesday. Meetings and protests will take place in other Greek cities like Thessaloniki, Volos, Ioannina, Patras and Heraklion.

For Monday, the trade union of public sector employees ADEDY has decided to organize meetings and protest meetings in all state institutions.

The 48-hour strike will also involve teachers from primary and secondary schools, who held today a protest outside the Ministry of Education. Their goal was to meet with a representative of the institution in order to explain the shortage of teachers in foreign languages ​​and other subjects in many schools across the country.

Speaking to GRReporter, the deputy chairman of the federation of teachers in primary education, Haralambos Kokinos, urged the Ministry to start a "massive recruitment of teachers, even if only for this school year." He said that teachers would participate in the upcoming 48-hour strike.

Some of his fellow protesters said that in some cases it was not necessary to make new appointments, as the teachers who taught a second language had fewer classes and could fill the gaps in neighbouring schools.

Municipal workers, who during Angela Merkel’s visit to Athens had organized an almost theatrical performance of three colleagues of theirs in German military uniforms from the period of World War II, will begin the protests during the weekend.

They are even preparing to occupy on Monday town halls, municipal buildings, depots of waste disposal trucks and landfills nationwide.

Tags: SocietyStrikeNew austerity measuresVotingParliamentTrade unions
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