Government Officials and Airline Operators Strike in Greece

Greek airlines cancelled more than 150 flights in connection with 24-hours national strike which would be carried out by trade union of government officials in protest against governmental policy of rigid economy. Info was given by representatives of the airlines.

In connection with participation of airline operators in the strike which will not work from 10.00 a.m. local time (11.00 a.m. Moscow time) till 14.00 p.m. the main Greek airline Olympic Airlines cancelled 110 internal and international flights and also five more were postponed. Other Greek company Aegean Airlines cancelled 50 flights and shifted flight time of other 37 ones.

Flights of the Russian airline "Aeroflot" are also shifted to later time: the board will arrive in Athens (flight SU295) at 14.35 p.m. local time (15.35 p.m. Moscow time), while start to Moscow is expected at 15.35 p.m. local time.

During national strike educational institutions will also be closed, hospitals will take patients only in urgent cases.

The strike is being carried out with the requirement of increase of real salaries, rendering of prompt assistance to insurance pension fund of state employees, with the requirement of transfer of temporary workers to regular contracts and also applications of fair tax system, ITAR-TASS transfers.

From editorial board: Now let's compare our "blue trade unions" with Greek ones and also our "communists", "socialists" and others - with Greek. It's even somehow awkward to compare.

Let's notice that Greece - EU country, that is level of salaries, degree of social security, legal status of workers there are absolutely not comparable with ours. Nevertheless they are striking, not we.

It is necessary to say that there was once a fighting trade union of airline operators in our country. There were even strikes of airline operators which shake from time to time the Western world. Long time ago. The government found a sure-fire way out - it disorganized flight service and now there's no difference - whether you strike or not. Trade union, naturally, was knocked down so that it wouldn't manage to organize the strike, especially in national scale.

The number of the airports in comparison with 1992 in Russia was reduced thrice! From 1302 to 451. It is possible to imagine what the national flight service represents in this situation - it simply does not exist, it is crushed. "About 70% of runways with artificial coverings was built more than 20 years ago that's the reason of their high level of physical and moral wear and tear and negatively influences safety of flights", - none other than Minister of Transport Levitin said last year. That is if 70% of runways are in emergency, as a matter of fact, condition, it means that they could somehow fly up and land without qualified dispatcher. As in the war.

From Levitin's words, high deterioration of land aviation infrastructure, inefficient structure and unsatisfactory condition of aircraft fleet negatively influence economic efficiency of transportations and safety of flights. He also informed that annually in the USSR about 100 million passengers used services of aviation, while now the number is ten times less. 

What measures are offered by Ministry of Transport?

Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation suggests to reduce the quantity of airports accepting international flights almost twice (that is that ones which have some kind of flight service). From 69 Russian airports accepting international flights almost half does not prove their worth. Only airports in Moscow, St.-Petersburg, Ekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk, Khabarovsk and Krasnodar will remain to be called international ones in the next years.

Now it is clear that in conditions of such scale job cuts in the infrastructure of civil aircraft it's useless to talk about strikes. Employer will thank and dismiss all strikers, national legislation is entirely on his side. 

As to the doctors and teachers, why they never strike in Russia - a full riddle. Only homeless people and guest workers have worse economic and social status, it's difficult to dismiss them because there is nobody to work instead of them (however, the government by and large doesn't care of the fact that there's nobody to cure and teach). Recently there appeared a fashion to imprison doctors and teachers for different imaginary crimes and public prosecutor named doctors and teachers (plus militiamen) the main corrupted persons and bribe takers.

They do not strike. And take very much offence when they are called "mob".

natoly Baranov