Thousands of Greece public workers strike against new labor laws

Thousands of public sector workers in Greece took part in a strike on Thursday in opposition to new labor law put forth in the Hellenic Parliament. Workers including doctors, transport staff and firefighters protested in Athens, Greece to voice their objection.

The new labor law, yet to be passed by Parliament, reportedly allow employers to fire employees within the first year of work without warning or remuneration. Another provision of the law imposes fines and a six-month jail sentence for work stoppages and strikes. Additionally, the law allows full-time employees to get a second part-time job to work up to thirteen hours a day, as well as the possibility of a six-day working week.

In response to these legal changes, a one-day nationwide strike was called by Greece’s largest public-sector union, Confederation of Greek Civil Servants’ Trade Unions (ADEDY), and was joined by other unions, including All Workers Militant Front (PAME).

During the strike, trains and buses ran reduced services, hospitals had emergency staff, and some schools closed for the day. Many of the strikers took to the streets of Athens, marching to Parliament and giving speeches to voice their opposition to lawmakers. Commenting on the strike action on X (formerly known as Twitter) PAME stated that the “successful strike signals for new, greater struggles against the plans to turn us into modern slaves!” They also thanked unions from across the world for their solidarity.

The new labor law passed on Saturday in a vote of 158 to 142. The votes in favor came from the New Democracy Party, while all other parties voted against the legal reform.