Greece braces itself for 48-hour port strike

Greece braces itself for 48-hour port strike

A 48-hour strike will halt operations at major Greek ports on Wednesday as the Seamen’s Union in Greece protests planned changes to labour and insurance rights, pensions and retirement ages.

The industrial action will affect domestic ferries and commercial vessels calling to unload cargo at the ports of Piraeus, Aspropyrgos, Eleusis, Pachi, Megara and Thessaloniki, according to an advisory from Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS).

Vessels will not be able to berth, shift or sail from the affected ports from 06:00 (local time) on January 20 until the strike ends at 06:00 on January 22.

The Crew Union of Towage and Salvage and the Tug Boats Crew Union of Thessaloniki have also confirmed they will participate in the strike.

Greece is under pressure from the IMF and Germany to implement tough pension reforms as part of its bailout package. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ proposed reforms have so far failed to secure the backing of opposition parties.

The government’s proposed plan for pension reform reduces pension benefits substantially, raises the retirement limit, integrates pension funds and eliminates early retirement.

Holly Birkett

Holly is Splash's Online Editor and correspondent for the UK and Mediterranean. She has been a maritime journalist since 2010, and has written for and edited several trade publications. She is currently studying for membership of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers. In 2013, Holly won the Seahorse Club's Social Media Journalist of the Year award. She is currently based in London.

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