Workers launch new wave of strikes

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Taxi drivers, tax collectors, doctors and garbage collectors all signalled a new round of strike action this week in response to government pledges for the swifter enforcement of austerity measures, hours before the official opening of the Helexpo (International Exhibition of Thessaloniki) this weekend. Taxi drivers called a 24 hour strike, which began on Thursday, and hinted at more action today, after the government refused to amend legislation opening up their sector to competition. According to the bill, which is to be submitted in Parliament next month, anyone will be able to apply for a taxi drivers’ license – as long as they do not have a criminal record, speak good Greek and pay an application charge, to be set somewhere between 15,000 and 30,000 euros. Assuming that the legislation is voted through Parliament, the first new licenses will be issued by the end of the year. Cabbies – who vehemently object to the reforms, complaining that there are already too many taxis on Greek roads – caused havoc in the crucial tourism sector last month by not only striking for two-and-a-half weeks but also blocking ports, airports and roads. The taxi drivers’ sector is not the only one up in arms over austerity. Tax collectors called a 48-hour strike for Monday and Tuesday, protesting plans by the government to suspend civil servants with reduced pay for 12 months. Doctors, protesting planned cutbacks, have just finished their two-day walkout yesterday. Municipal garbage collectors start rolling 48-hour work stoppages tomorrow, calling for the reinstatement of colleagues whose short-term contracts have expired. And state school teachers are also to start rolling strikes from September 22. Source: Kathimerinilast_img read more