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Heat Wave of Summer Strikes Flooded Athens Once Again

16 June 2010 / 16:06:41  GRReporter
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Along with this-week’s heat wave from Sahara another wave of strikes raised in Greece. The workers of the subway in the capital first announced an hourly strike on Wednesday this week against the termination of contracts of 285 employees and technicians. The strike will intensify on Thursday and the Athens subway will not operate for 24 hours. Jointly a 5-hour strike of all other transport in the capital will take place on Thursday, which will block traffic on Athens streets between 11 am and 4 pm.

Greek subway employees announced their decision to continue their strike on Friday if, after the 24-hour strike, the government hasn’t changed its decision to terminate the contracts of their colleagues.
The trade union of the Greek journalists which started a series of hourly strikes is ready to go still farther. State television and radio personnel shall set out united protest at the end of June this year against the dismissal of eleven hundred colleagues of theirs. The programs in the national media were suspended in the hours between 8 and 12 noon at Wednesday, June 16. Suspension of work for four hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon between 7 pm and 9 pm will take place on Monday and Tuesday, June 21 and 22 this year. The Athens Journalists Union is preparing a 48-hour strike at the end of the month, which will begin at six in the morning of June 28 and will end at six in the morning of June 30 this year. “The strike is the only way to show solidarity to colleagues the renewal of whose working contracts from the next month has been refused,” said a journalist from the national radio ERT in Greece especially for GRReporter.

Striking television workers even threatened to sabotage the broadcasting of the World Cup Football Championship in South Africa – the national television ΝΕΤ1will broadcast only picture of the football matches from the Championship without sound and comments.

Meanwhile, the two largest unions in the country, this of state workers (ADEDY) and the one of private employees (GSEE) organized a general meeting on the Klatmonos Square in the capital at seven in the evening. The goal is to unite the employed in the public and private sector in a protest against the introduction of the new social security law.

The meeting has not gathered the anticipated number of people compared to the protests in the spring. High temperatures and relentless Mediterranean heat did not stop, however, the trade union leaders to go on the platform of the square one after another. They urged people to class struggle and resistance against the government policy of cuts and economic reforms. A huge banner with the call: "All on meeting on June 16 to protect the wages and employment.” could be seen behind the speakers.
Тhe usual suspects from the radical left Siriza, Greek Communist Party and their student organizations took part in the meeting again. As usual at the end of the procession were the representatives of the anarchist fractions and the special police officers for struggling with  riots walked slowly fifty meters behind them. There weren’t any riots this time. The hot air and stuffy urban atmosphere were not suitable for the rising of the familiar martial mood, which is usually typical for similar protests in Greece.

The protesting people slowly came to Syntagma square, where they chanted the usual slogans somewhat half-heartedly. Foreign tourists had gathered in front of the Megali Vretania hotel. They were watching the protest march with interest and shooting with their small cameras the sweated protestors, calling: “Come on, people, on to the revolution”, “Down with capitalists!” “Workers will not pay the crisis of the imperialists,” “Out the International Monetary Fund.” An hour later the protest march dispersed and the traffic on the boulevards Stadiu, Panepistimiu and Vassilis Sofiyas was restored.

Tags: StrikesNewsSociety
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