Adding to Greek woes, the union for seamen began a strike on Tuesday with plans to extend what had initially been a one-day strike into a 48-hour work halt. Now residents of smaller Greek islands without airports are largely cut off from the mainland.
The strike appears to have little impact on ferry traffic between Greece and Italy.
The seamen are also protesting the austerity programmes and calling for a 2% pay raise. Greece’s shipyards have offered a 0.5% raise.
A strike called by the POE-OTA union has been suspended following negotiations with the central government on Tuesday.
A deputy interior minister promised that as of Jan. 1, 2011 an integrated framework of wages and employment will be determined for employees in municipal enterprises. Moreover, the sector’s collective labour agreement will be signed immediately, one of the strikers’ main demands.