Seamen launched a 48-hour strike on Monday, leaving ferries moored in ports and playing havoc with coastal shipping.
Trade associations complained that the action would burden them with heavy losses while regional authorities on Crete appealed to unionists to stop the strike as local farmers threatened their own action in protest at that of the sailors.
Development and Merchant Marine Minister Anna Diamantopoulou pressed the unionists to look beyond their own narrow interests.
“Every blow against agricultural production, against tourism, against the islands, against the national economy, is a blow against the unemployed Greek, the pensioner, the worker,” she said.
The Panhellenic Seamen’s Union (PNO), which objects to cuts to pensions and changes to collective labor contracts, has said it will continue with rolling two-day strikes until authorities address its concerns.