Thursday, June 17, 2010

[olympiaworkers] Metro strike in Athens in response to mass lay offs threat Jun 17 2010

Metro workers in Athens have decided to strike for a third continuing day
in response to the lay-off threat to 286 colleagues last week. Meanwhile
the Greek government is unveiling labour relations sweeping changes.

The Metro workers' stance in response to a threat to fire 286 colleagues
in Athens has been portrayed by the media as a torment to the general
public amidst the current heat wave that has plunged Athens to
temperatures of 40C and beyond. Yet the third day of strike announced
today by Metro workers comes as the Greek government is announcing a new
packet of austerity measures that are sure to torment the public more than
any mass transport stoppage. The plan which was revealed by the Socialist
Party today includes a reduction of 20% for the basic salary of workers in
their 20s (from 740 to 595 Euros per month in total, a real approximate of
400 Euros at hand), a 50% reduction to compensation payment for lay-offs,
the raise of pension age to 65, and granting freedom to bosses to perform
mass lay-offs.

Yet apart from sector-specific strikes like the Metro one or the refusal
of high school teachers to mark final exams that has paralysed the
educational system, little is moving on the labor struggle front, with
rallies called by the private and public umbrella unions attended by less
and less people. Rather than this being read as a move of workers away
from the Party controlled unions and towards autonomous syndicalism, it
reflects a general wind-down of reactions to measures since the tragic
events of the 5th of May that has still to be properly analysed rather
than attributed simply to the summer heat and the vacations spirit of the

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