Ships docked, trains halted as Greek workers strike over rising costs

By Thomson Reuters Apr 17, 2024 | 12:54 AM

ATHENS (Reuters) – Ships remained docked at Greek ports and train services were halted on Wednesday amid a strike by transport sector workers demanding higher pay to cope with rising living costs.

With bus and taxi drivers also walking off the job, many roads in central Athens were clogged as commuters resorted to driving themselves to work.

The workers joined a 24-hour strike by Greece’s largest private sector union GSEE who say their wages still lag behind those of their European colleagues.

Greece this month raised its monthly minimum gross wage by 6.4% to 830 euros, the fourth such increase in five years, as the country has been recovering from a decade-long financial crisis.

But workers say the increase in their wages is not enough to keep up with rising food and housing costs.

“The message is clear. Workers can’t make ends meet with bottom-most wages and ballooning prices,” GSEE, which represents some 2.5 million workers, said in a statement.

The conservative government of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, which won re-election last June, has promised to raise the monthly minimum wage to 950 euros by 2027, when its term ends, and increase the average wage by more than 25% to 1,500 euros in the same period.

(Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; editing by Miral Fahmy)