Greek unions to hold 24-hour strike against austerity on November 6

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 10, 2013 3:02 PM
Greek unions to hold 24-hour strike against austerity on November 6

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek workers will hold a 24-hour strike on November 6 to protest against austerity measures and public sector layoffs demanded by the country's international lenders, unions said on Thursday.

Greece said on Monday it expects to finally emerge from six years of recession next year, but repeated rounds of spending cuts since the crisis broke out have squeezed households and stirred up public anger.

"With this strike we want to warn the government and the troika (the three main lenders, the EU, the ECB and the IMF): Greek families cannot take any more austerity. They've reached their limits," Nikos Kioutsoukis, general secretary of the largest private sector union GSEE, told Reuters.

Public sector union ADEDY said it would take part to protest against thousands of planned job transfers and layoffs.

Together, both unions represent more than half Greece's work force, which has been shrinking rapidly.

Although the Greek government has ruled out more austerity, unions fear it will need to impose further tax rises plus wage and pension cuts to meet its bailout targets in the coming years.

The IMF and European lenders, who have bailed out Greece twice to the tune of 240 billion euros ($324.5 billion), are to return to Athens by the end of October to continue a review of Greek reforms and update growth and budget forecasts.

(Reporting by Renee Maltezou; Editing by Andrew Heavens)