Greek Strike Promises Chaos

Tuesday, April 24, 2001
Greek transport unions promised chaos for travelers during Thursday's 24-hour general strike, with public transport in Athens forecast to grind to a halt and Olympic Airways and Greek railways scaling back on routes. The 24-hour nationwide strike has been called by Greece's largest labor grouping GSEE, with the support of public sector sister group ADEDY, to protest against plans to reform the country's social security system. The government last week unveiled proposals to revamp the ailing social security system by raising the retirement age, changing how pensions are calculated and doing away with a number of special categories of pensions. Ferry lines are also expected to be affected, with the Panhellenic Seamen's Federation (PNO) saying its members would walk off the job from 0300 GMT on Thursday to 0300 GMT Friday. "The strike affects all categories of ships at all ports in Greece," said a PNO spokesman. Apart from transport, the strike is expected to cause widespread disruption to services and industry. Journalists' unions will join the walk-out resulting in no news bulletins being broadcast on the day and no newspapers on Friday. The last industrial action to cause significant disruption was on December 7 when GSEE and ADEDY struck against a new labour law.

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