Tourists have to remain in their holiday destinations as ferry workers demand a pay rise
Thousands of travellers have been forced to prolong their holidays on Greek islands as local ferry workers have started a 24-hour-long strike.
While demanding an increase in salaries, the workers, unionised under the Panhellenic Seamen’s Federation, will suspend the operation of around 50,000 private vehicles and 3,000 trucks.
The industrial action, that will last until midnight today, will probably affect around 180,000 holidaymakers who have booked a ferry to or out of some of the most popular vacation destinations in Greece, such as Crete, Santorini, or Mykonos.
The strike will also cause problems with the transportation of food and other goods.
Union members are demanding an increase in wages of 5 per cent. Recently, they have claimed their salaries have been the same for the past eight years. The workers have decided to strike after a meeting between their representatives and shipowners that took place 29 August. Both sides failed to reach an agreement during the meeting with shipowners offering a wage increase of 1 per cent only
According to World Maritime News, passengers whose trips have been cancelled amid the strike are entitled to full a refund and should reach out to their travel agents for further information.
Tourism has been one the country’s major sources of income with one in five Greeks working in the sector. While the country has around 6,000 islands, most of them are not connected with the mainland by air, meaning inhabitants, as well as visitors, depend on the transportation by sea.
Greece is predicted to host more than 32 million holidaymakers this year which is more than twice as much as 8 years ago, and over five times more than in 2008.