Greek workers embark on strike over low wages

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Greek workers began a day-long nationwide strike on Wednesday, over a deepening crisis of rising prices and low wages, disrupting transport, ferries, schools and public hospitals.

The country’s two biggest labour unions, representing about 2.5 million public and private sector workers, called the general strike expected to culminate in a protest in central Athens.

The country’s umbrella private sector union, GSEE said, “For the last 14 years, workers have been carrying the burden of a deep crisis that affected everyone’s incomes and lives.

“As the years go by the crisis is constantly deepening, the burdens remain, our rights are shrinking.”

Greece emerged from a decade of financial crisis in 2018, only for the COVID-19 pandemic to bring global travel to a standstill two years later, hurting its vital tourism industry.

Greece’s annual consumer inflation surged to a 25-year high of 7.2% in February on the back of rising energy, housing and transportation costs.

The government has spent about 3.7 billion euros ($4 billion) since September to alleviate the burden of soaring energy and fuel costs for farmers, households and businesses.

According to GSEE, in March it had proposed a 13% increase in the monthly gross minimum wage to 751 euros due to soaring inflation.

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