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article imageGreek ferries laid up as sailors strike for more pay

By AFP     Sep 2, 2018 in World

Greek ferries will stay in port Monday, bringing inter-island links to a halt after the powerful federation of Greek seamen called a 24-hour strike over pay demands.

The stoppage comes at the tail end of the summer holiday season and ferry operators laid on extra services Sunday in order to cover weekend demand beforehand.

Highlighting recent pay freezes as Greece emerges from years of austerity, the seamen's PNO union launched the stoppage after bosses failed to agree their demand for a pay rise of five percent.

Despite two years of booming trade only a one-percent rise had been on the table from September followed by another one percent from next June.

The strike is the first since Greece emerged on August 21 from three international bailouts and eight years of deep spending cuts.

Although budget cuts remain on the menu, Friday saw Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras pledge to increase the minimum wage which had fallen to 586 euros ($680) a month from some 760 euros before the crisis took hold.

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