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Transport strikes continue, passengers had the deuce

31 January 2011 / 21:01:20  GRReporter
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Underground’s employees stated they would continue their protest tomorrow by going on a 24-hour strike but the underground’s management filed a complaint in court in order the strike to be declared illegal. The underground and the electric train did not work today, and buses in Athens stopped running for five hours - between 11 am and 4 pm. Bus drivers will continue their protest against the reform bill in transport on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Underground and electric train drivers made a statement to the press accusing the government in trying to place them with a fait accompli. They said the dialogue with the Ministry was limited to two meetings at which trade unionists had made their proposals but none of them was included as an amendment in the bill.

According to them, if the law is voted as is urban transport services will get worse, passengers will pay even more money and employees will lose their basic labour rights. Bus drivers were also surprised that the bill was tabled in Parliament on Thursday and was expected to be voted by the end of the week without taking into account any of their proposals. "We had decided 20 days ago that we would go on strike when the bill comes into Parliament for voting," said the president of the union of bus drivers Nikos Kouloumbaritsis.

Meanwhile, the new tickets and travel cards fares come into effect tomorrow, Tuesday. Increases will reach 40% and there will be two types of tickets. There will be one ticket for a single trip by bus, trolley or tram and it will cost 1.20 euros. The second type of ticket will cost 1.40 euros. It will be used within an hour and a half for all means of transportation. If the hour and a half expires while the passenger is in a vehicle, then the passenger is obliged to punch the ticket again.

Monthly and annual cards for only subway or electric train will be cancelled as of February 1. Passengers will have to buy cards for all urban transport facilities at the price of 45 euros per month or 450 euros for one year. Passengers will be allowed to use old tickets until February 15. Old tickets could be exchanged for an extra charge to the cost of new tickets within a month and a half.

Furthermore, doctors in the clinics of the largest health insurance fund IKA will go on strike tomorrow too. Hospital doctors also have announced a 4-hour strike (between 9 am and 1 pm). The strike of pharmacists in Piraeus continues and the Greek Pharmaceutical Union decided pharmacies throughout the country to remain closed on Friday and next Monday. On Wednesday civil engineers will occupy the offices of their health insurance fund throughout the country. For its part, the largest union of civil servants ADEDY announced its program of protests in February. A three-hour strike is expected on February 10 when public institutions will stop working between 11.30 am to the end of the working hours and there will be a 24-hour strike and rally on the square Pedio tu Areos at 11 am on February 23.

Tags: NewsSocietyUndergroundTramsBusesStrikeTransport facilitiesTransportPharmaciesConstruction engineers
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