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Greek port strikes extended, tugs striking too

A ongoing general strike at ports in Greece has been extended by a further 48 hours, which will continue to affect commercial vessels and ferries calling at Piraeus, Aspropyrgos, Eleusis, Pachi and Megara.

The Seamen’s Union began a 48-hour stoppage on January 27, which was due to terminate today. The extension will see the strike continued for the same period of time from 06:00hrs (local time) this morning, terminating at 06:00hrs on January 31, according to an advisory from Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS).

The Towage and Salvage Crew Union of Piraeus will also stage a four-hour stoppage between 06.00hrs to 10.00hrs on Saturday, having completed a similar stoppage this morning.

During the strike period, vessels will not be able to berth, shift or sail from the affected ports, ISS said. Tug boats at Thessaloniki are operating normally and are not on strike.

The Seamen’s Union is protesting planned changes to labour and insurance rights, pensions and retirement ages.

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.

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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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