Greek dockworkers have launched a new two-day strike today, Inchape Shipping Services (ISS) Greece confirmed to World Maritime News.
The port workers unions in Greek ports are protesting against the sale of the country’s biggest two ports, namely the Piraeus and Thessaloniki, which are being privatized within the country’s bailout plan, Reuters reports.
Namely, the workers fear the privatization would cost them their jobs as foreign port operators might introduce cheaper labor force.
In January, China’s port operator Cosco Group (Hong Kong) Limited won a bit for 67% stake in the country’s largest port of Piraeus.
Cosco offered a price of EUR 22 per share, i.e., EUR 368.5 million (USD 402.3 million) in an improved offer. The bidding process for the privatization of the port of Thessaloniki is also open under the same tender conditions, with 67% stake up for grabs.
According to ISS, the latest strike has not interrupted operations at private terminals and oil installations.
The strike comes in less than two weeks from the most recent round of strikes that hit Greece by both public and private sector unions, including the Seamen’s Union.
Hellenic Crew Union and the Towage and Salvage Crew Union of Piraeus launched a strike action on 27 January, starting with a two-day protest, which turned into a week-long industrial action.
The action has been called by the unions in response to the Greek government’s planned changes to labour and insurance rights, pensions and retirement ages.
World Maritime News Staff