A health sector employee stands in front of the Greek Parliament during a protest in Athens on Thursday, Jan. 31 2013. The government has imposed waves of spending cuts and tax hikes, leading to severe salary and pension cuts and leaving unemployment spiraling to above 26 percent. Workers have been protesting planned reforms to the pension and income contribution system, part of the latest spending cuts in the bailout program. Hospital doctors and ambulance workers were also on strike for the day. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
Friday, February 01, 2013 8:19 am
Greek dock workers extend strike
The Associated Press
The strikes come a day after hospital doctors and public transport workers in the capital walked off the job for 24 hours. Workers are protesting the latest wave of austerity measures in return for bailout funds, which unions say will lead to a further 25 percent income cut for many.
Greece has been struggling through a severe financial crisis since late 2009, and is dependent on billions of euros in international rescue loans. In return, the government imposed repeated rounds of spending cuts and tax hikes that have sent unemployment spiraling to above 26 percent and plunged the country into a recession now in its sixth year.
Greek islands, many of which have no airports and depend on sea routes for basic supplies, have been without ferry service since Thursday, when the dock workers began their initial two-day strike. Their union's decision to extend the labor action will leave ferries tied up until 6 a.m. Monday.
The main unions have also announced a nationwide general strike for Feb. 20, the latest in a long series of such walkouts over the past two years that lead to the disruption of nearly all services in the country and are often accompanied by violent demonstrations.