Contract workers occupy Athens City Hall

AP News
Posted: Mar 22, 2011 4:21 AM
Contract workers occupy Athens City Hall

Protesting contract workers are occupying Athens' City Hall, disrupting municipal services, to protest at continued cuts in state-paid jobs.

The protesters, whose contracts have expired but are fighting for permanent jobs in court, staged a peaceful occupation Tuesday. Police did not intervene.

Mayor Giorgos Kaminis promised to give the protesters priority when hiring new workers. But government restrictions in 2011 limit the number of public sector hirings to one new employee for every five who retire or leave, under austerity measures agreed in exchange for international bailout loans.

Greece's two largest unions are planning a protest rally in central against the austerity measures Friday.