Athens rail union holds 24-hour strike

Workers opposed to new legislation which they say will lead to privatization of rail transport in Greece's capital

Athens rail union holds 24-hour strike

World Bulletin / News Desk

Friday marked the final day of a recent series of rail strikes in Athens, as transport workers opposed new legislation they claim will undermine the public network.

With buses being the only form of public transportation, the rail strike has caused major traffic jams, resulting in hundreds being stuck in their cars for hours.

The Urban Rail Transport union held three 24-hour strikes over the last two weeks, demanding the halt of Transport Ministry plans, which will “reduce the revenues and open the way to privatization,” an official announcement stated.

The union includes those working in the Greek capital’s metro, tram network and urban railways.

The proposed legislation would allow the Athens Transport Organization to make commercial use of Urban Rail Transport’s stations and premises.

If implemented, the reform will be part of the country’s bailout program.

“It is obvious that this legislation serves as the 'Trojan horse' to facilitate the lenders’ plans to, easily, privatize the Urban Rail Transport,” a worker’s announcement claimed.

"Urban transport will remain public, providing a service to society with the fairest and cheapest pricing possible," the statement concluded.

Greek transport ministry officials were not immediately available to comment.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 03 Mart 2017, 14:25