The strikes staged by Athens Metro workers expand to other public transport means tomorrow, Tuesday, January 22nd 2013. Metro workers will be on 24-hour strike for sixth consecutive day.
Urban train ISAP/HSAP & Tram will not operate 12:00 noon until 4:00 p.m.
Blue buses and Trolley will not operate 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Buses and trolleys will not operate 11 am-4 pm also on Thursday.
Workers unions at all public transport means will meet tomorrow, 11 a.m., to decide how to further proceed as the Transport Ministry rejects their demands to be excluded form the new payroll.
Ministry – Workers Dispute
The dispute between the Metro workers and the ministry was inflamed on Monday, when minister Kostis Hadjidakis claimed that only a small percentage of the workers are on strike, hindering the rest to go to work, while striking workers get paid, despite their protest.
“Metro workers are officially on leave and therefore they get paid during the strikes days,” Hadjidakis said, adding “strikes have limits and terms, and I’m afraid both have been violated.”
The minister presented data according to which
on Jan 17 only 33% and on Jan 18 only 48% of Metro workers were on strike, while 44% of urban train workers and just 3.94% of tram workers. On Jan 19 only 16% of metro workers went on strike and on Jan 20 just 14% of workers.
Metro workers union replied to Hadjidakis that he mixes up things as the metro was on 24-hour strike, while urban train and tram on work stoppage. The metro workers union wanted to show their wages payrolls to confirm their claims.
Sidenote: it has been a common practice at the Greek public sector that members of unions would submit applications to be “on leave” during the strike days, so to avoid wage deductions at the end of the month.
Nevertheless, the Transport Minister threatens to order the “enforced mobilization” of Metro workers, should an Athens court declare the strike “illegal” later on Monday.
UPDATE: An Athens court ruled the Metro/urban train and tram strikes were “illegal.” Now we have to see if Transportation Minister will apply legal measures and enforce them to return to work.