Tens of thousands of Greek workers walked off the job today and rallied in front of parliament to protest government plans to fire public sector employees in an attempt to satisfy foreign lenders.
The reforms that have most angered the unions are plans to put 25,000 civil servants, including teachers and municipal police officers, into a so-called mobility plan by the end of the year, docking their wages ahead of forced transfers or dismissals. Another 15,000 workers are to be laid off by the end of 2014.
Local government employees have been occupying city buildings this week to protest the changes which, the unions say, will aggravate a deepening recession and add to the ranks of the unemployed who already account for more than 27 percent of the population.
“We will resist all those whose wrongheaded and dead-end choices have led the Greek people into poverty and wretchedness,” said the main private sector labor union, Gsee, which called the action with the civil servants’ union, Adedy.