Sunday, 27 January 2013

The new week to start with strikes

The strike front in the transport sector remains open, workers in railway, trolley buses and bustransport have to decide until Tuesday how they will continue their actions. Until then, no buses and trolleys will run, and trains will not travel on Sunday and Monday. Until Monday, 28 January, theconnection between the Doukisis Plakentiyas subway station and the airport will not be available. Since last Friday, underground trains, electric trains and trams have been working again.
The meeting of trade unionists in the transport sector was held in an atmosphere of tension. Workers in the transport sector are uniting and continuing to insist on collective agreements that will recognise their labour characteristics, so that they will not be excluded from the common pay-roll remuneration table. President of the Organisation of Workers in Public Transport Apostolos Raptopoulos said that a dialogue with the government should immediately start, so that a new collective agreement for the sector be signed, since blind confrontation will not lead anywhere.
The Organisation of Subway Workers opposed the decisions of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Development for the mobilisation of subway staff. They insist that the Supreme Administrative Court issue a decision for the immediate freeze of the decisions of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Development which to repeal mobilisation.
"The government cannot, under any circumstances, let the country derail," said yesterday the Minister of Development Kostis Hatzidakis, repeating that the single pay-roll table will be applied with no exceptions.
On Friday morning, the transport police forced strikers to withdraw from the subway depot at Sepolia. The occupation of the depot by strikers, immediately after the decision for the mobilisation, ended on Friday, when the police, at 3:40 a.m., tore the chains that subway workers had put at the main entrance and drove out about 50 strikers who did not resist. The Police did not allow anyone to enter the depot, only workers with letters of mobilisation. Reportedly, Chairman of the union of workers in the subway, Antonis Stamatopoulos, in order to avoid an arrest, escaped from the occupied depot in the trunk of the car of one of the syndicate's lawyers. The Police had closed the area of Kifissou Avenue and traffic was stopped.
Workers in the subway started going to work at Sepolia's depot on Friday morning with letters of mobilisation in hands. Police officers allowed only these to pass through the gates, showing the guard the letter and an identity card.
Transport problems deepened when farmers from Thessaly decided to go on strike on Monday morning. They will take their tractors on the Athens-Thessaloniki highway at Nicaea. There, they will decide on further actions. The decision was taken on Friday afternoon at a meeting of representatives of agricultural organisations in the region of Thessaly. On Sunday morning, farmers from Imathia closed symbolically the road of Egnatia at the exit for Kouloura for an hour. At the same time, farmers from Drama and Kavala will remain with their tractors at three assembly points on the highway Drama-Kavala - at the Skari exit, at Mavrolefki and at the intersection at Kokinogia. However, they will not obstruct traffic. Farmers are waiting for the Pan-Hellenic Branch Meeting in Platamonas in Pieria for coordination of activities in central and northern Greece.

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