Management and trade unionists at Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE) remained at battle stations on Friday, despite a court decision that ruled a strike by the ELPE workers union scheduled to begin the same day illegal and abusive. Immediately after the court ruling was announced, the refinery workers' union federation responded by declaring yet another strike and rejected management arguments that the court decision applied to a strike by the federation as well.
Trade unionists on Friday issued an announcement urging workers to "ignore threats and support the union" while pointing out that the management were not judges and not competent to decide what was legal or illegal.
The union also announced the launch of efforts to join forces with a regional network of energy-sector trade unions in southeastern European (Cyprus, Montenegro, Serbia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) in order to set up a common "strike front".
The management, meanwhile, told the ANA-MPA that it intends to take all legal action to protect the company's interests and stressed that the majority of the workforce were at their posts and there was no serious problem with the operation of the refinery.
"Trade unionists are interfering illegally, trying to prevent the safe operation of units and putting unbearable pressure on the workers," they claimed.
In an earlier statement, ELPE's management had reported that the refineries were operating without serious problems and that the only delays were in loading tanker-trucks with fuel.