An Athens first instance court on Monday declined to rule against a pending strike called by the union representing Hellenic Petroleum (EL.PE) employees.

The union has called for a 10-day strike at Greece's partially state-owned and largest petro-chemical group.

In a statement after the ruling, EL.PE's management charged that the industrial action aims at the hiring of personnel for the refinery in Thessaloniki and not over the signing of a new collective bargaining agreement.