Municipal workers threaten election-day strike

A strike by Greek municipal employees is threatening to derail the crucial June 17 national election which could determine whether the debt-crippled country continues to use the euro. The POE-OTA union is pressing for higher electoral pay, complaining that they get much less than other state employees. Municipal workers are deeply involved in the voting process, from setting up voting centers to transporting used ballots.

POE-OTA head Themis Balassopoulos says the union decided Thursday to hold a two-day strike on June 16-17. He said municipal employees will refuse to do any election-related work until then.

Balassopoulos told The Associated Press that he sees little prospect of a resolution. He said either the government will have to issue a mobilization order forcing workers back to work, «or there will be chaos." Meanwhile, the Interior Ministry has set up two hotlines -- 213.136.1500 and 213.136.4500 -- where citizens can make inquiries about where they are registered to vote.

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