Greek Suburban, Intercity Train Services Resume after Railway Workers End Unexpected Strike Action

(AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

ATHENS – A small number of Athens-Thessaloniki intercity trains have resumed service as the Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE) employees who had earlier in the day prevented the trains and the suburban railway from leaving the depot, left the premises shortly after 3:00 pm on Tuesday.

In a Monday announcement TrainOSE had stated that all of its intercity and suburban railway services would run normally on Tuesday despite a 24-hour general strike that included most of Athens’ public transport.

However, Transport Minister Kostas Karamanlis urged the occupying workers on Skai radio early on Tuesday to leave the depot and allow the TrainOSE drivers to carry out the scheduled routes.

In an announcement on Tuesday afternoon, TrainOSE said it ”regrets the inconvenience caused by the sudden and unannounced occupation of the Renti train depot, which resulted in its inability to carry out the services,” and added that the responsibility for securing regular scheduling on the national railway network rests solely with OSE.

TrainOSE added that it will compensate passengers whose paid journeys were cancelled, and emphasized that the company was unaware of workers who intended to partake in Tuesday’s strike, as it said that “by late last night the OSE administration assured it had no official information on strike participation and that itineraries were standing as per usual.”

Meanwhile, the president of the Hellenic Federation of Railways workers Panos Paraskevopoulos told Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA-MPA) that he had informed both OSE and TrainOSE as early as Friday that the relevant workers’ unions will participate in Tuesday’s strike.

More suburban railway and intercity services will resume by end of Tuesday, said TrainOSE.