An Athens first instance on Thursday ruled that a 24-hour strike – declared by the Athens Labor Center for the previous day – was illegal and abusive, as eight unions representing employees in all greater Athens area mass transit systems joined the industrial action, resulting in major traffic congestion on the Greek capital’s roadways.

The management of the Athens Urban Rail Transport (STASY), which operates the metro system, had filed a lawsuit against the strike when it was declared at noon on Tuesday for the next day, Wednesday. However, the first instance court failed to adjudicate the case within hours, and instead issued a decision on the same day the industrial action was held.
Legislation passed by the current government outlaws the declaration of “snap” strikes in specific sectors, including mass transit. The specific law requires unions to notify and list their demands four days before a strike is held.

Additionally, unions must allow for sufficient personnel or a “skeleton crew” to ensure security at facilities and for a bare minimum of services to continue.

The court also ruled – a day belatedly – that the strike was “abusive”, because it was declared in order to coincide with the day when a draft bill opposed by the unions was set for ratification in Parliament, and even though the draft legislation was first unveiled for public consultation last August. The court ruling said the latter provided sufficient time for unions to express the views and objections to managements.

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