By F. Zois
The state-run urban rail operator for the greater Athens area went on the offensive on Tuesday, a day after another 24-hour strike by a portion of the staff at the Athens metro caused hardship to some half million commuters and irritation throughout the Greek capital's traffic-snarled roadways.
The company (STASY) called Monday's strike, called by one of nine sector unions representing urban rail (metro, electric train, tram network) workers, unjustified and a pretense.
However, what the state-appointed STASY management didn't explain is why the remaining workforce, which wasn't on strike, was not able to operate the lines. Criticism also focused squarely on the appointed top management for failing to seek a court injunction blocking the industrial action, with the argument that the number of voters in an extraordinary general assembly of the specific union were not sufficient to take decisions.
While the strike completely shut down metro service on lines 2 and 3, the company's management said very few workers actually participated in the industrial action.
According to STASY, out of 1,845 employees scheduled to work on Monday, 1,585 showed up as normal, while only 260 were declared as strikers.
Out of 721 members of the specific striking union, called SELMA by its Greek-language acronym, 466 showed up for work.
The union demanded hirings, a better maintenance and spare parts regime and expressed opposition to what it called a "sell-off" of the Athens metro.