The first to walk off their jobs for a general strike called by the General Confederation of Greek Labor (GSEE), were journalists, beginning a news blackout until Thursday morning. Public transport workers and other state employees will join in Wednesday. Rail and ferry services in the capital Athens were expected to grind to a halt.
The walkout follows a strike by public sector workers last week. The first major strike since Greece exited the “bailout” agreement imposed by the EU that enforced crushing austerity.
The GSEE is calling for the restoration of collective agreements, pay and pensions and the demand that the minimum wage return to its previous level.
During the bailout, austerity was imposed for loans from the EU, the IMF and the European Central Bank. Prime minister Alexis Tsipras promised a “new era” when the agreement ended, but has agreed to continued austerity in accordance with demands from the EU. There has been growing pressure on union leaders to call for united mass action.