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Greek ports to be hit by two-day towage strike

Greek ports will be hit by a 48-hour strike called by the Panhellenic Union of Merchant Marine Engineers (Pemen) on all categories of ships on 23 - 24 February, with the prospects of further escalation.

The Panhellenic Crew Union of Towage & Salvage have joined the action and consequently, towage service will be unavailable during the strike hours, which will affect the vessels’ maneuvering ability inside the country’s ports as from Tuesday, 23 February at 00:01 hours until Wednesday, 24 February at 24:00 hours local time.

Vessels arriving at Piraeus the Mediterranean’s biggest container port are expected to face berthing delays and heavy congestion is anticipated at the port’s three terminals after the end of the strike.

Indeed, liner companies were warning clients it is difficult to predict the extent of the strike’s impact on Piraeus in terms of the congestion and the increased waiting time to be created for the vessels expected to arrive at Piraeus port between 21 – 26 February.

Piraeus port administrators says terminal utilisation remains at high levels and scheduled vessels’ operations will be prioritised.

In a statement announcing the strike action, the Engineers union  charged that although there is a new outbreak of the pandemic there are no substantial measures to protect public health, and that shipowners, the government and the Shipping and Island Policy ministry is seeking to bury social security and the union rights of seafarers.

"Last July, the government introduced and passed Law 4714/2020 in Parliament, which dealt an overwhelming blow to the institution of collective labour agreements in seafaring, while paving the way for these regulations to be extended to all seafarers and all categories of ships," said Pemen.


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