Strikes Over ERT To Disrupt Athens

Strikes Over ERT To Disrupt Athens

GSEE ADEDY strikePublic transportation in Athens will be staggered on June 13 as transport workers join a strike called by the country’s largest labor unions representing public and private workers in the aftermath of the government’s decision to shut down the public broadcaster ERT.

Intercity trains will not be running, while some evening services were also cancelled on June 12 during a 24-hour general strike workers organized by the unions GSEE and ADEDY. Services on the suburban railway known as Proastiakos will also be halted during the strike

The Athens metro and the Kifissia-Piraeus electric railway (ISAP) will operate from 9 a.m. onwards. Blue buses and trolley will halt services throughout the day. Air traffic controllers will walk off the job from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on June 13.

The Athens Journalists’ Union (ESIEA) called a 48-hour strike from 6 a.m. on June 12 of TV and radio stations to protest the closure of ERT and the loss of more than 2,600 jobs. The government said 1000-1200 would be rehired and back to work by the end of August on a new, pared-down operation to be called NERIT SA, which stands for New Hellenic Radio Internet and Television.

ESIEA said newspaper journalists would strike on  June 13 for 24 hours. There was also a six-hour stoppage on TV and radio on June 11 after the government announced it would closing ERT and later opening a new broadcaster with fewer employees.

Despite the signal to ERT’s TV channels being lost shortly after 11 p.m. on Tuesday, employees at the broadcasters headquarters in Athens and Thessaloniki refused to leave the buildings and managed to resume broadcasts via digital TV and the Internet.

The Communist Party (KKE) also offered the frequency of its TV station, 902, to rebroadcast ERT’s programs. Thousands of people protesting the broadcaster’s closure had gathered outside ERT’s headquarters in northeastern Athens.

A number of political leaders, including SYRIZA’s Alexis Tsipras and Independent Greeks’ Panos Kammenos, visited the building to express their solidarity with the protestors.

The European Federation of Journalists condemned the decision to shut down ERT. “These plans are simply absurd,” said EFJ president Mogens Blicher-Bjerregård. “It will be a major blow to democracy, to media pluralism and to journalism as a public good in Greece, thus depriving citizens from their right to honest, level-headed and unbiased information. But it will also mean the loss of many journalists’ jobs across the country.”

  • Alithia

    When unions and communist try to run the country and make policy, you KNOW that it’s time to fire hundreds of thousands more. Greece needs right to work legislation and the unions enormous power to bring Greece to it”s knees needs to be shattered as soon as possible.

    Maybe they should wait until Dear Leader Tsipras takes over and gives them everything they want…..oh wait, Syriza’s beloved Hugo Chavez and Castro brothers treated reporters and stations that didn’t tow the line like lepers. Shut them down and imprisoned reporters at will.

    Be careful what you wish for! LOL!

  • The maverik

    ‘Vote for Job” affair must end…It’s about time for a change and Samara is doing right to close it down…ERT had more employees than what it should have with some getting paid for just doing nothing…It is unfair to pay for some individuals without having a real job description…The frappe status must end…

  • Tonto

    Like it or not, fellow workers–the Greek state is moving its slow thighs toward reality. Strikes here are seen by the world at large as just evidence there is no will to move forward. The word is out. The Greek laborer is being shown his/her true worth when there is little productivity or profit gain at the end of the day. Socialistic measures are wonderfully idealistic and beautifully heroic–as long as someone else is paying for them.

    Has anyone ever asked where the savings of massive payroll has gone all these years when people take to the streets non-productively in such actions? Use the math–someone somewhere is raking in a lot of Euros when people choose en mass to not work and lose pay. Any accountability in this country for where that savings goes? Back into the budget? That’s laughable.

    Where are our armies of wonderful investigative journalists on that story? Could unions just be puppets of schemes to amass this windfall of cash savings each time a strike is called? All it certainly does is dissuade the life-blood tourism we so desperately need. Get over yourselves! Get back to work!

  • ibid

    What nonsense! Venezuelan press were unanimously opposed to Chavez. They fabricated stories on a regular basis to discredit him. It was his popularity with the masses that kept him in power. All the negative press did not affect him. He left the press alone. It was only the state broadcaster that was in any way objective. Now that Greece has lost its state broadcaster, and the only objective voice you seem to delight so you don’t have to pay 5 lousy euros. All your posts are anything but alithia. Troll!