The proposals made on Tuesday by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Interior Minister Panos Skourletis to representatives of the municipal workers union POE-OTA failed to convince and workers decided the strike will continue through Thursday.
Coming out of the meeting at Maximos Mansion, union representative Nikos Trakas told reporters that talks went “very well,” adding that the issue will be taken to the union executive committee to decide shortly.
However, a little after 6 pm, the POE-OTA committee decided that they will continue the strike through Thursday.
Following the morning meeting, Maximos Mansion issued a statement with the concessions the government is willing to make in order to end the strike and for sanitation workers to return to their cleaning duties in order “to avoid danger to public health due to the non-disposal of waste.”
The government proposal has four points which, as Tsipras promised, will be included in the amendment to be tabled in parliament later on Tuesday:
- Contract sanitation workers will be included in the competition to be hired permanently through the Supreme Council for Civil Personnel Selection (ASEP) mechanism, with age limitations abolished for their case.
- Existing contract workers will be given points in the point system for the competition, while new contracts will be created so that they continue to work.
- Approximately 2,500 permanent cleaning staff positions will open, as municipalities have already requested and have been approved by the Ministry of Interior. This is the starting point, as the real needs of municipalities in cleaning staff are much larger.
- Finally, garbage collection will be done by the municipal authorities and not by private contractors.
The temporary workers decided that the proposal made by the prime minister do not solve their problems. As a result, the strike will continue and they will convene again to discuss the issue.
The POE-OTA strike that started last week has resulted in tons of trash forming mounts on the streets of Athens and across Greece, creating serious health hazards amid rising temperatures. The public prosecutor’s office is investigating the legality of the cleaning workers strike.