Greek public transport employees have held the nation's capital hostage with strikes. The government reacted by issuing civil mobilization orders forcing strikers to return to work. Transport unions are however calling for further strikes.
Commuters in Athens have faced more than a week of disruption as striking public transport sector employees have protested wage cuts, imposed as part of the troika austerity measures.
As Inside Greece reported the government is committed to introducing a single pay structure for public sector employees which will entail some transport workers seeing a pay cut of around 20 percent. Salaries of transport workers will remain higher than other public sector employees, including doctors and teachers, even after the pay cuts.
On Saturday it appeared that the governments strategy to force transport workers back to work by issuing civil mobilization orders was working, as 2,500 striking staff returned to work. However, Ekathimerini reports public transport unionists have met to call for further strikes. Antonis Stamatopoulos of the Metro union said “We will force them to withdraw the civil mobilization. My colleagues were forced to return to work like slaves, with chains around their legs. They are not going to make me go back as well.”
According to Ta Nea workers of all unions of public transport decided to continue to strike, further immobilizing buses, trolleys and commuter trains. The metro will run as normal due to the measures taken by the government.