Friday, May 14, 2010

Greek unions to hold new general strike May 20

Greece's two main unions on Wednesday announced a new general strike on May 20 -- the fourth since February -- and warned of more protests against austerity cuts imposed by the debt-hit government.

"We are calling for a general strike on May 20," the GSEE and Adedy unions, who together represent over 1.3 million private sector employees and civil servants, said in a joint statement.

"After this general strike the boards of the two organisations will decide on the continuation of the struggle," they added.

The unions are strongly opposed to a wave of tax hikes, spending cuts and a sweeping pension reform imposed by the government to clinch a badly-needed loan from the EU and the IMF whose first instalment is expected today.

GSEE chairman Yiannis Panagopoulos said the pension reform was a "socially unjust bill" coming in the wake of "unfair and antisocial fiscal measures."

"This bill enforces harsh austerity on pensioners and future pensioners, transferring a major load on the new generation," said Panagopoulos, who also blasted the IMF's involvement in the Greek rescue package.

(From AFP)

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