ATHENS – New Prime Minister and New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ honeymoon is over as far as Greek workers are concerned, less than three months after he won July 7 snap elections.
Strikes against the new government on Oct. 2, including by journalists, stopped ferries and transport services whose workers were joined in the action by those in public hospitals, banks and schools.
It was coordinated by the country’s two biggest unions, representing public and private workers who are angry over a new labor bill they said would undermine collective bargaining rights and the right to strike and with the government letting people be fired without cause.
Staff at newspapers, news websites, and news programs on television and radio also held a 24-hour strike but flights were not affected.
Mitsotakis’ conservative government is planning to overhaul employment legislation to make changes it says are needed to counter abuse of part-time contracts and undeclared labor by some employers but which workers said is meant to strip their rights.
The former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA faced repeated strikes and protests over then-Premier Alexis Tsipras constantly reneging on anti-austerity promises and burying workers, pensioners and the poor with more brutal conditions and also taking away worker rights.
There have been thousands of strikes in the country during a more than 9 1/2-year-long economic crisis that saw big pay cuts, tax hikes, slashed pensions, and firings but as Parliament workers who said they would strike if affected, politicians, the rich, tax cheats, oligarchs and the privileged largely escaping any effect.
(Material from the Associated Press was used in this report)