More strike troubles in Greece

Piraeus and fellow Greek ports seem to be largely escaping the latest strike troubles Piraeus and fellow Greek ports seem to be largely escaping the latest strike troubles

Following the last spate of austerity strikes affecting European ports in November last year – strikes are once again threatening troubles at Greek ports, according to Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS), the global maritime services provider.

A 48 hour strike conducted by Greece's Seamen’s Union against proposed job cuts started on 31 January and was due to end on 2 February – but ISS Greece has told Port Strategy that it has just been extended for another 48 hours until Wednesday 6 February.

ISS said that strike disruption initially meant no assistance from tug boats for ships calling at the ports of Piraeus, Asropyrgos, Eleusis and Lavrion. At one point pilots at the ports were also striking.

This has calmed down somewhat with now only vessel transits at the Corinth Canal being delayed and ferries at a standstill. Towage and pilotage services are apparently now operating normally.

Thanassis Karlis, spokesperson for the Piraeus Port Authority SA, said to PS: “The strikes of the Seamen’s Union affect the ships performing coastal transportation (cabotage traffic). International routes are not affected and the merchant port of Piraeus provides services unaffected as the port and dock workers are not members of the Seamen’s Union and thus they do not participate in this strike.”

That said, this latest strike has been the fourth major walkout in as many months fro Greece, so it is hard to believe that the ports are not being impacted at all.

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