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Unionists declare blockades of municipalities

10 July 2013 / 15:07:29  GRReporter
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The buildings housing the administrations of the municipalities of Athens, Nikia, Agios Demetrios, Ilioupoli, Argiroupoli, Nea Smyrna, Tavros, Ilion, Egalio and Agia Pareskevi near Attica are under blockade by the union of the employees in local government organizations (ПОЕ-ОТА). The blockades are a natural continuation of the strikes against the upcoming layoffs which were held during the previous two days.

The employees are protesting against the bill on the enactment of the layoffs of public sector workers which was submitted to the parliament yesterday.  The cuts affect mainly the municipal police service and school guards, and they should enter into force by the end of the summer.

The union members had blocked the building of the municipality in Athens on Liosion street at seven in the morning on Wednesday and hung at the main entrance of the building banners reading "Blockade". Other municipalities which support the protest have adopted the same tactics.

Meanwhile, the management board of the union ПОЕ-ОТА had convened a general meeting to decide on the next protest actions. "They are wrong if they think that we will sit and wait while they dismiss our colleagues," chairman of the union Themis Balasopoulous stated yesterday. "The government does not know what we are capable of," he said without explaining what he meant.

Until yesterday, despite the strike of the municipal services, the department responsible for the cleaning of the city was working. Now it is expected that it will stop operating in accordance with the intensified trade union resistance.

In addition to the region of Attica, the buildings of the municipalities of Patras and Thessaloniki are under blockade as well. Ethnos newspaper reports that the municipal police officers in Patras have initiated a protest march in the city centre. In Thessaloniki, 16 municipal police cars followed by motorcyclists have blocked the central arteries of the northern city.
The employees in mayoralties and municipalities have announced that the protests will continue in various forms. They will not go to work on Saturday and Sunday in protest against the policy pursued by the central government whereas there will be a protest concert in Syntagma Square outside the parliament on Monday.

The union of employees in local government organizations will file in the Supreme Court a claim against the bill on the cuts in the public sector which was submitted to the parliament yesterday. The unionists require that it be declared illegal. In support of their demands, the two largest unions in the country GSEE and ADEDY have announced a nationwide strike on Tuesday, 16 July.

To be continued

Tags: SocietySocial issuesStrikesMunicipal police officersGreeceCuts
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