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Pressure over port employees to stop the strike

10 November 2009 / 10:11:32  GRReporter
2359 reads

Victoria Mindova

The Pieria port strike is unjustified and illegal and it needs to be terminated immediately. This is claimed in the judicial proceedings filed in Pieria court by Konstantinos Mihalos, chairman of the Athens Traders and Industrialists Chamber against the Port Employees Union. If the strike is recognized as illegal the Port Employees Union will have to pay a compensation for every day of the strike. Two more claims were filed in the Pieria court with the same content by the Traders and Industrialists Chamber and by the Chamber in Mesinya.

The court decided to review all three claims together because the accusation is common. After hearing both sides the court will make a decision the latest until Tuesday, November 10, 2009.

While the court was in session hundredths port employees had gathered as a sign of solidarity to the union’s management, which fight for their interests. In front of the court there was a special squad police team, in order to make sure the proceedings will go without any incidents. According to the port employees it is incomprehensible why a winning state enterprise like Pieria Port needs to be privatized and especially under such unfavorable for the Greek interests contract. According to the strikers Pieria port has reported €110 million turnover in 2007, 70% out of which came from platform 2 (the platform subject of concession by Cosco).

After platform 2 was committed to concession, platform 1 remained the only state property, which has considerably lower capacity and therefore less job positions. This is why the port employees announced their next 48 hour strike. The former owner of the port OLP Company wants to withdraw two months later, so that the talks between the port employees and the concessioner can continue. This way guarantees should be given that the rights of the employees will be met and there will not be any mass layoffs.

Government spokesman Georgos Petalotis announced that a new board of directors is taking over the OLP Company from the beginning of this week. Chairman will be Georgios Anomeritis – former minister of trade sailing for 2001-2003. Anomeritis will be the main figure in the negotiations with the Chinese company so that changes can be made in the concession contract. On November 14 it is expected that Wei Jiafu, president of Cosco, will arrive in Athens. The negotiations will revolve around the interests of the port employees, salaries, labor contracts and tax reliefs written in the concession. 

Tags: Pieria port concession COSCO Shipping in Greece Strikes in Greece
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