Saturday, June 9, 2012
Greek election workers plan strike on election day June 17th
A new crisis is facing Greece. New elections are scheduled for June 17. However a union representing municipal workers has called a two day strike for June 16th and June 17. These workers are key to running the election machinery.
Adding also to Greek woes is a rising March unemployment rate at 21.9 per cent. Last year at that time it was already at 15.7 per cent. The rate is up from February as well.
POE-OTA is calling the upcoming strike. The union complains that its members are paid less for election work than other employees of the government. Members of the union set up voting centers including booths and ballot boxes and also deal with voter documentation.
Leader of the union Themis Balassopoulos also said that the union will refuse to do any election work until the strike starting June 16. He also said municipal employees will refuse to do any election-related work until then. He said that last election members received just 75 dollars for their work a fraction of what other workers received. He said:. "If the country has no money, it can't just be for us while Interior Ministry employees get €1,800 ($2,300) — that's three months' salary for a municipal garbage collector. It's a provocation."
Balassopoulos also noted""The elections are up in the air," "We carry the ballot boxes, set up and clean the voting centers, we transport the used ballots... Anything you can imagine in connection with the elections, we do it." The government may get a court order ruling the strike illegal. The government said that it will take all necessary actions to see that elections are not disrupted. However, given the intensity of unrest in Greece that may not be possible. For more see this article. Another article is here.