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Rail workers to strike four days the next week

21 October 2010 / 16:10:36  GRReporter
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Rail workers will go on a four-day strike the next week when the parliament will pass the first reading of the draft bill on the state rail company recovery. The strike will stop the passenger flow from the subway station Dukisis Plakendias to the airport because it uses rail line. Today the building of TRAINOSE is occupied and unionists did not let employees to go inside to check.

"They represent us as owners of the railway company and the data the government provide show we are rich, but we offer calculations that show it is all slandering," said Thanassis Levendis, Secretary of railway unionists.

In his words the government estimates are wrong. In fact, the average salary of employees with 30 years of experience is € 1,443 per month. According to Mr. Levendis, the calculations of the ministry are based on 2009 salaries data which is divided by the number of employees in 2010. This is incorrect since 6500 people were working in OSE the last year while this year their number decreased by 720.

90% of the employees in the Greek railway company have been working there for 30 years because there have been no appointments since 1984, except for people with special needs, announced the leaders of the rail union at a press conference today.

"We want the railways modernized ... Regarding OSE’s debt we have to say that the largest part of it – € 10.8 billion is an investment deficit, which should be covered by the Greek state. Second, the government admitted that the state has never paid its financial obligations to the company. Third, routing policy is such that there are really routes used by only 3-4 people. The proposal we submitted is to reorganize the routes so as to meet the needs of society and the railways will have more passengers. According to Mr. Nicholas Kyutsukis, it is unacceptable when the train from Athens arrives to Larissa and the passengers have to wait two hours to catch the train to Volos, or to arrive from Athens to Thessaloniki passing through Alexandroupoli and to find out that the train had departed ten minutes before that. Fourth, it is not appropriate to make 80% reductions for certain goods - particularly heavy ones,” said Mr. Levendis.

The new law will cut 1200 km of the railway lines and will keep only 800 km, said the chairman of the rail union Nikolaos Kyutsukis. He asked what happens with the mobile materials that rust at the station in Thessaloniki from 2003 and what was the reason for ordering 17 vans in 2007 and another 50 buses that are not used and having in mind the plan for relocation of employees according to which only 10 out of 43 drivers will will keep their jobs. Mr. Kyutsukis announced that the company has been loosing € 250 million annually from unfinished works on the infrastructure since 2006. The company has been loosing € 400 million of unused property and another € 100 million due to the lack of growth in the number of passengers. The unions’ calculations show that € 300 million were paid for salaries in 2010 and the operating costs for trains amounted to € 120 million.

Tags: TrainsRailwaysStrikePrivatizationRoutesOSETrade unionsDebt
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