‘Our rights are shrinking’ – Greek workers strike over sky-high prices, low wages

  • Workers in Greece went on strike due to rising prices.
  • Consumer inflation is 7.2%, the highest in 25 years.
  • Government measures to alleviate the need do not go far enough, workers say.

Greek workers embarked on a day-long nationwide strike on Wednesday over what they call a “deeper crisis” with rising prices and pressured incomes disrupting transport, ferries, schools and public hospitals.

The country’s two largest unions, representing about 2.5 million public and private sector workers, called the general strike, which is expected to culminate in a protest in central Athens.

Greece came out of a decade of financial crisis in 2018, only for the coronavirus pandemic to halt global travel two years later, damaging its vital tourism industry.

Now rising energy prices, exacerbated by sanctions against Russia since its invasion of Ukraine in February, have further damaged workers’ pockets.

“For the past 14 years, workers have borne the brunt of a deep crisis that has affected everyone’s incomes and lives,” said GSEE, the country’s umbrella association for the private sector.

The union added:

As the years go by, the crisis is constantly deepening, the burdens remain, our rights are shrinking.

Greece’s annual consumer inflation rose to its highest level in 25 years at 7.2% in February amid rising energy, housing and transport costs.

The government has spent around € 3.7 billion ($ 4 billion) since September to ease the burden of soaring energy and fuel costs for farmers, households and businesses.

For the striking workers, the measures do not go far enough.

Tourists stand at the closed metro station at the Acropolis. In protest of the price rises of recent months, the umbrella organizations of Greek unions have called for nationwide strikes.

The GSEE said in March that it had proposed a 13% increase in the monthly gross minimum wage to € 751 due to rising inflation.

The Conservative government raised the minimum wage by 2% to € 663 in January, and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has promised another, larger increase from 1 May.

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‘Our rights are shrinking’ – Greek workers strike over sky-high prices, low wages

Source link ‘Our rights are shrinking’ – Greek workers strike over sky-high prices, low wages

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