Greek workers walk out to protest against reform on strike action

Transport disrupted as workers stage walk out against proposed changes unions say will make it hard to call strikes

Sept. 24, 2019

Workers in Greece have staged their first walkout since a new conservative government took office in July, resulting in island ferries remaining moored in ports and public buses and trains running on reduced services.

The centre-right government of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis came to power on pledges to speed up investments and spur growth in a country where economic output shrank by a quarter during a decade-long financial crisis.

Tuesday’s 24-hour action was triggered by proposed government reforms that unions say will make it harder for them to call strikes.

The proposed legislation, which will be put through parliament mid-October, allows workers to vote remotely on industrial action without attending meetings, permits changes in some collective work agreements and allows the establishment of a registry for labour unions.

Labour union ADEDY, which represents about half-a-million civil servants, said the changes the government was trying to usher through parliament would hobble the right to strike.