Greek police break up train workers sit-in

Metro workers strike against wage cuts broken up by 300 riot police as Athens underground remains shut for ninth day.

    The underground remained shut for a ninth day as most workers continued a strike against wage cuts  [GALLO/GETTY]
    The underground remained shut for a ninth day as most workers continued a strike against wage cuts [GALLO/GETTY]

    A metro depot in Athens has been stormed by up to 300 riot police to break up a sit in by striking staff in the Greek capital.

    The raid took place at about 0200 GMT on Friday morning and at least 10 workers were detained and then released, an official said on condition of anonymity.

    The capital's underground lines remained shut for the ninth day as most workers continued a strike against wage cuts.

    Prime Minister Antonis Samaras's government has taken a hard line on the strike despite criticism from the smallest party in his three-party government.

    "When labour action is judged illegal and abusive, the law has to be implemented," government spokesman Simos
    Kedikoglou told state television.

    "Everyone has made sacrifices and no one can ask to be made an exception."

    Police told the AFP news agency that the strikers had occupied the premises on Thursday.

    Their demonstration was staged to oppose government plans to reduce their pay in line with wages in the broader public sector.

    The government’s cuts are part of reforms tied to the country's massive EU-IMF loan bailout.

    Hundreds of unionists gathered outside the metro depot after the police raid in support of the strike. They reacted by calling for a general transport standstill on Friday.

    The government said strikers had shown contempt for court rulings that had declared the metro strike illegal earlier this week.

    Samaras said on Thursday: "The Greek people have sustained major sacrifice. I can allow no exceptions."

    SOURCE: Agencies


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