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Public transport strike goes ahead as planned Thursday despite court rulings

Δημοσίευση 14 Ιανουαρίου 2011, 10:14 / Ανανεώθηκε 27 Ιουνίου 2013, 14:55
Public transport strike goes ahead as planned  Thursday despite court rulings
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A 24-hour public transport strike in buses, trolleys, the Athens metro and ISAP trains and the tram is taking place as scheduled on Thursday, as the unions of mass transit employees decided to defy court rulings issued late Wednesday designating the strikes illegal, and despite warnings by the government of disciplinary action and other sanctions provided by law against the defiant strikers. The controversial bill restructuring public transports, which has sparked an ongoing wave of strikes and stoppages, was unveiled on Wednesday afternoon after being approved by the Cabinet earlier in the day.

A 24-hour public transport strike in buses, trolleys, the Athens metro and ISAP trains and the tram is taking place as scheduled on Thursday, as the unions of mass transit employees decided to defy court rulings issued late Wednesday designating the strikes illegal, and despite warnings by the government of disciplinary action and other sanctions provided by law against the defiant strikers. The controversial bill restructuring public transports, which has sparked an ongoing wave of strikes and stoppages, was unveiled on Wednesday afternoon after being approved by the Cabinet earlier in the day.

The greater Athens area is without mass transit, despite the Athens First Instance Court ruling issued after recourses by the administrations of the public transport companies.

The Hellenic Rail (OSE) intercity routes and the Proastiakos suburban railway, however, were running normally after suspension of the 24-hour strike by the relevant employees' unions.

Infrastructures, Transport and Networks minister Dimitris Reppas warned strikers that if they carry on with the mobilisations despite the court ruling, they will face disciplinary and other sanctions.

The bill on the restructuring of public transport provides for the creation of a "Metropolitan Agency" for urban transports and a revamping of the system through mergers of the existing mass transit companies, obligatory transfers of personnel and changes to the labor relations.

The bill was unveiled on Wednesday during a meeting of the Cabinet, which approved the draft law for tabling in parliament.

More specifically, the bill provides that the five public transport companies operating under the umbrella of the OASA urban transport organisation will be merged into two agencies, one for the road transport companies (ILPAP trolleys and ETHEL buses) and one for the three rail companies (Tram, Metro, ISAP trains) and, more particularly, ETHEL will absorb ILPAP and the Metro will absorb ISAP and the Tram.

With respect to personnel, the transfer of approximately 1,500 of the total 11,850 employees currently working in urban transports will be transferred.

Further, the existing collective labor agreements will be abolished and new agreements drawn up with the new agencies.