Public transport and services halted in Greece

Public transport and services were halted Thursday, in a second day of strikes by Greece's largest unions against sweeping labor reforms approved by the conservative-led parliament. The strike forced dozens of delays and cancelations at the state-run Olympic Airways, but other airlines were operating normally, officials at Athens International Airport said.

Unions, seeking a higher minimum wage among other demands, say the shake up of employment rules in the public sector will hurt workers' rights. Late Wednesday, parliament approved the reforms by 160-119 votes, introducing more private sector-style contracts at public utilities and services. The changes will mostly affect newly hired employees.

"There are two things Greek unions will never accept: The separation of employees into old and new, and efforts to undermine the collective wage negotiation process," Christos Polyzopoulos, leader of Greece's largest union, the GSEE, told state-run NET television, reports the AP. I.L.

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