The Panhellenic Seamen's Federation PNO on Tuesday announced a 48-hour rolling strike starting on October 17 and ending at 6:00 a.m. on October 19, during which no ships of any class will set sail from any Greek port or harbour.
The head of the PNO said the federation will hold a meeting on October 18 in order to decide whether another 48-hour strike will follow. If the strike action does continue, it is likely to cause serious problems in getting supplies to many Greek islands.
PNO had warned the appropriate Greek ministries at the end of September that strike action was pending unless its basic demands were met. The union accused the government of conducting a full-frontal assault on the social insurance entitlements of Greek seamen, both working and retired, blaming the country's difficulties on Greece entering the European Support Mechanism and the laws implementing the Medium-Term Fiscal Strategy.
The union federation is demanding that the seamen's pension and social insurance fund NAT continue to receive funding from the state budget and that current benefits be preserved as they now stand. It also demands security for Greek seamen's jobs, improvements in training and action against unemployment.
It goes on to demand new negotiations for collective labour agreements, since seamen's pay has been stuck at the same levels since 2010 and the preservation of a Special Fund for Seamen's Family Benefits as a private, independent body financed through the contributions of ship-owners and seamen.