Greece - truck drivers strike extended, railway workers on strike

Freight truckers across Greece decided to indefinitely extend their strike in the middle of September 2010 against government plans to privatise the sector. The strike, which began on 13th September 2010, would continue indefinitely, it was announced.

The truck workers have been involved in actions since July this year. The government wants to open the freight market to “full competition” within three years to cut transportation costs. The truck drivers insist that inviting competition into the freight sector by reducing new licence charges is unfair to existing operators who have already paid high start-up fees running up to 300,000 Euros.

Greek state railway unions called a 24-hour strike September 14, 2010 to protest planned wage and personnel cuts as part of efforts to “reform” and partially privatise the rail network.

Faced with its worst financial crisis in decades, Greece is currently tied to a three-year €110 billion ($140 billion) rescue loan package from the International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank. These institutions have imposed various restrictions on the government, including asking for ‘rationalisation’, cutting down the number of workers engaged in the government and state sectors, cutting down on social benefits etc. Greek workers have participated in a series of strikes and protests over massive attacks on their wages and working conditions that the government is seeking to impose.

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