Greek Ferry Workers Plan Strike, Abandon Island Passengers

Αssociated Press

(AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris, FILE)

ATHENS – The wind-down of another record summer for tourism in Greece could be met with a 24-hour strike on Sept. 3 of ferry workers who said they will stop work in a protest that could strand 180,000 people on islands for the day.

The association representing Greek ferry companies (SEEN) urged the union of seamen (PNO) to call off the action and in a letter to them wrote that it would propose renewal of collective labor contracts, practices the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA ended on orders of international lenders, but which the government said would be restored now that international bailouts have ended.

There was no immediate response from PNO, which is demanding salary hikes and tax breaks, and has threatened to extend the strike which would cause a major disruption in travel plans for tourists who could be stuck on islands with no way to get off..

Shipping companies said the PNO’s threatened action would cause upheaval for a large number of people. “It will be impossible for solutions to be found to serve passengers,” SEEN said.