Here’s why governments should NOT get in bed with Unions. Yet, we now have a president that absolutely loves Unions. In fact, a guy by the name of Andy Stern of SEIU, is the head of the largest Union in the country, and has the honor of having more visits with Obama in the Oval Office, than anyone else in the country.
The headline below should read… “Greece crippled by Unions”
Greece crippled by public strikes.
Thousands of Greek civil servants staged a 24-hour strike shutting schools and grounding flights yesterday, but a protest march was poorly attended, offering some hope Athens can tackle a debt crisis shaking the euro zone.
Some 5,000 members of the ADEDY public sector union gathered before Parliament chanting “Traitors” and waving banners reading “We won’t pay for the crisis”. Riot police briefly fired teargas at demonstrators who tried to cross a nearby security cordon.
The 500,000-strong union wants Prime Minister George Papandreou to scrap emergency measures including a wage and pension freeze, and has threatened to escalate its protests.
“These measures are unjust and we will continue our struggle as long as the government does not change its policies,” ADEDY General Secretary Ilias Iliopoulos said, adding that his union would likely join a private sector walkout on February 24.
Mr Iliopoulos said 70 per cent of members joined the stoppage, but many public employees appeared at ministries and schools.
Yesterday’s strike left thousands of tourists stranded as it shut airports to all but emergency flights and closed the port of Piraeus which serves much of the Aegean. Historic attractions like Athens’ Acropolis were also closed to visitors.
It is seen as just the first in a series of planned protests whose severity will depend on Mr Papandreou’s success in restoring faith in the economy, which he says will grow this year.
“The Prime Minister didn’t keep his promises and he is dipping his hands in the pockets of the poor,” said Eleni Papapostolou, 46, a teacher and mother of two. “I have to cut out coffee just to get by. Ordinary people have debts too.”
The public sector strike comes a day after the government unveiled details of measures to cut its deficit below the EU ceiling of three per cent of GDP by 2012, from 12.7 per cent last year — the highest in the 16 nation euro zone.
Unions oppose the proposals to freeze public wages, slash the salary supplements many Greeks get on top of basic pay, and replace only one in five people leaving the civil service.