Ferry services to the Greek islands have been disrupted Thursday morning, June 3, after a seamen’s union went ahead with a strike that the court had declared illegal.
The union members blocked the entrance to ferries in Port Piraeus-Athens, preventing anyone from boarding. This resulted in hundreds of passengers with suitcases who gathered at the port, saying the ferry lines had not informed them of the strike. Arguments broke out between striking workers and travelers.
The seamen’s union had declared the 24-hour strike in order to protest a draft labor bill being debated in parliament, which workers said would erode their rights. Other seamen’s unions had declared strikes for June 10, as part of the general strike that day.
According to Shipping and Island Policy Minister Giannis Plakiotakis, today’s strike had been deemed illegal.
“The choice of one union to move outside the legal framework is a wrong tactic, which turns against passengers and doesn’t serve the union movement.”
Plakiotakis added the ministry had intervened, with the union eventually relenting and allowing travelers to board. The ferries set sail after several hours’ delay.