Greek municipal garbage collectors end strike, as heat wave fuels concern over trash piles

Source: Xinhua| 2017-06-30 01:29:54|Editor: huaxia
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ATHENS, June 29 (Xinhua)-- Greece's local authority staff union federation POE-OTA announced on Thursday the suspension of their strike which has left tons of garbage piles mounting on streets nationwide, as the heat wave which is sweeping the country has fuelled concern over the public health.

POE-OTA decided to end the labor action against job insecurity after 11 days of work stoppages, sit-in protests at landfills and rallies in front of the parliament, Greek national news agency AMNA reported.

Municipal sanitation workers had requested that all short-term contracts will be changed into permanent contracts. The government had proposed permanent job positions for about 2,500 out of the 15,000 people currently working on fixed-contracts.

It was not immediately clear on Thursday which will be the final arrangement, but garbage collectors will work over the next three days to remove the tons of trash piles overflowing on the streets.

As temperatures soared on Thursday up to 41 degrees Celsius in some parts of the mainland, according to the national meteorological service EMY, and are expected to further rise until Sunday, health experts warned over the treats the decomposing waste was posing for the public.

With the worst heat wave of the past decade in Greece looming, as EMY forecast, should the labor union had decided to continue the strike, the government was considering using a judicial order to force employees back to work, according to Kathimerini (Daily) newspaper. Enditem