After a two-hour meeting, the broad of the Municipality Workers’ Union POE-OTA announced that it will continue the garbage strike until Thursday, June 29th 2017. And this despite temperatures reaching 37 degrees Celsius and the upcoming heat wave that will strike Greece as of Thursday.
The Union rejected proposal put on the table by prime minister Alexis Tsipras earlier on Tuesday.
According to media information, POE-OTA had reservations about the number of hiring of permanent personnel. Tsipras proposed 2,500 hiring as “a basis to start with.” The Union decided the number was not sufficient.
The union considered also as insufficient the government assurances that no private companies will be involved in the garbage collection.
POE-OTA has announced a 24-hour strike and protest marches in downtown Athens for next Thursday.
Municipality workers on temporary contracts started to hinder garbage collection last Sunday. The total number of temporary workers working as cleaners is unclear, unions speak of at least 10,000 or more people.
However, not all of cleaners on temporary contracts work as cleaners. Some do secretarial work or are assigned to other kinds of duties.
Municipalities have often used temporary workers as a basis for voters. Next municipality elections are scheduled for 2019.
Tonnes of garbage have been piling up on the streets of Athens, the suburbs and other cities across Greece amid high summer temperatures. Meteorologists warn of extreme heat wave with up to 43 degrees Celsius from June 29 until July 2 2017.
Slowly Greeks abandon their “understanding for the workers’ struggle” and get angry at the stinking garbage right in front of their door steps. The majority of people fears of health risks and diseases. I just saw a report on private ANT1 TV, where in districts of Athens, the mountains of garbage have block basement apartments!
In some rural or touristic areas, I hear, that garbage have been picked up on Tuesday morning.
More on the municipality workers strike and the garbage situation here.