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Greek Workers Strike to Commemorate May Day

May Day
Athenian streets are almost empty as Greece commemorates May Day, or International Workers’ Day, which fell on May 4 this year due to the Easter holiday. Credit: Greek Reporter

Greece is for the most part quiet today as the nation commemorates May Day several days late, after the Easter holiday.

The celebration of International Workers Day on May 1 is the custom in many nations across the world every year.

Many public transport employees are taking part in a general strike called by the General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE) for the celebration of Labor Day (which coincided with Orthodox Holy Saturday this year on Tuesday May 4.

Those workers who belong to the Athens Labour Union will take part in a strike on Thursday, May 6.

Buses and most metro lines to operate during the day Tuesday

However, buses will operate from 9:00 AM until 8:00 PM on Tuesday. Metro lines 2 and 3 will also be open from 9:00 AM until 8:00 PM but there will be no metro service from Doukissis Plakentias station, to and from the airport.

There will be no tram service from 12:00 noon until 4:00 PM while trains and the urban railway (proastiakos) will not carry out their routes throughout Greece.

Trolley and metro service on Line 1 will be carried out normally, however.

On Thursday, May 6, metro lines 1, 2 and 3, trolleys and trams will not operate throughout the day due to a day-long strike declared by their labour unions to commemorate May Day.

Journalists in Greece stage news strike

Very little news came out of the country during the day, as journalists stopped working after mass media and journalists’ unions in Greece called for a 24-hour strike on Tuesday in observation of Labor Day.

Workers for the national broadcaster ERT and the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (AMNA), and municipal radio stations, as well as journalists working in the private sector, will not be reporting news beginning on 6:00 AM Tuesday May 4 until 6:00 AM Wednesday.

Due to how the Greek Easter holidays fell this year, the observance of Labor Day on May 1  followed Easter Monday, May 3.

Last year, Labor Day was marked with parades — although they used social distancing to help avoid the spread of the coronavirus.

Greek trade unionists marked Labor Day 2020 with a rally in central Athens but were careful to keep a safe distance from each other, according to the guidelines instituted to fight the coronavirus epidemic.

Rally organizers gathered around Syntagma Square before the rallies to place road markings pointing to the correct distances that protesters should keep between one another.

Greece’s largest private-sector union, GSEE, called on its member organizations to hold commemorative events while adhering to safety rules.

The same message was echoed by the Communist Party of Greece and its affiliated union, PAME.

Police officers were deployed in central Athens to make recommendations if the proper safety distances were not maintained during the marches.

The government had urged unions to delay their public rallies by more than one week, due to the risk of infection.


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