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“If you continue the strikes, we will sell you!”

“If you continue the strikes, we will sell you!”

Today’s actions were deemed illegal last night – Suburban and OSE are running normally

By Marianna Tzanne

Chaotic day yesterday with the demonstrations of public transport workers that were ruled as illegal, with the workers in the electric and suburban railways coming normally to work and with fermentations in other means continuing all through the night.

It is noted that workers in all means of transport had declared a 24hr strike for today, reacting to the merger of urban transport operators, mandatory transfers and changes in collective agreements that will come with the relevant bill.

Meanwhile Reppas, the minister of Transport, is rehashing the scenario of handing over transportation to private concerns.

Speaking to reporters yesterday, right after the presentation of the consolidation plan, he stressed the government’s attempt to secure the public character of the transport sector and also the workers' jobs.

As he said, the 1.500 transfers are calculated as normal appointments that «deny the right of recruitment in the public sector to other citizens and also the choice of other ministries to man their services as they would like».

Reppas underlined the fact that that if there is no consensus, then the door is open for the participation of private concerns, something that he had produced as the worst-case scenario in case the model for consolidation fails.

And he admitted that there are privatization plans in other ministerial offices, meaning apparently the ministry of Finance, where similar plans have been conceived.

Whip and carrot

The minister seemed to be employing a calmer tone with employees, saying that «a clash is not a choice of ours», stressing however that if workers insist on strikes that have been ruled illegal, there is no doubt that they do not keep up with legality.

According to the plan presented at the cabinet meetingyesterday, which is expected to be ratified by the Parliament next month, two new entities will be created out of the 5 corporations in the transport sector today, one for Road Transportation (OSY), under which buses and trolleys will be one company, and one for Fixed Transportation (STASY), in which the Metro will absorb the tram and ISAP.

The bill provides an OSE model for the collective contracts sector, which will be reported, and there will be negotiations with the bodies’ managements that can last for more than 30 days. In this context, the secondment status is terminated and all employees return to the transport bodies to which they belong.

To deal with fare non-payment, which on buses reaches 40%, the ministry is planning the creation of a unified Force of Fare Controllers. The ultimate goal is the e-ticket, for which the contractor is expected until the end of this year.
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