Workers continue to fight for their pensions in Greece

Walkouts by public sector workers against the pension reform bill are continuing, with a 24-hour general strike expected on Wednesday.

Submitted by Alex... on March 17, 2008

Last Wednesday saw a three-hour general stoppage called by the General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE), during which doctors, engineers, pharmacists and lawyers joined bank workers and rubbish collectors already on strike. The day ended with a march on parliament attended by hundreds of workers.

Rubbish has begun to pile up on city streets as collectors continue their week-long strike. Clashes with police occurred in Athens on Wednesday as workers tried to prevent rubbish being deposited at a landfill site.

Bank workers have voted to carry on their strike, and workers at the Public Power Corporation will continue their walkout through to the general strike this Wednesday, which has been called by the main unions to coincide with deliberations on the pension bill in parliament. Staggered 24-hour walkouts by electrical workers have led to intermittent blackouts in many cities.

Hospital workers and engineers will stay on strike through Monday and Tuesday, and lawyers have said they will continue their strike to Friday.

Unions have vowed to escalate strike action until the pension reform bill is scrapped. The bill aims to collect Greece's 170-odd pension schemes into 13 main funds, and will see cuts to benefits, an increase in the retirement age, and loss of benefits for working mothers.

More information
Update on the situation from a site user in Greece