Government poised to force universities to reopen

first_imgAs a strike by administrative staff at Athens University and the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) continues into its 10th week, putting in jeopardy the studies of thousands of students, the government is considering forcing the employees back to work by issuing civil mobilization orders, Kathimerini understands.Staff at the two institutions are protesting government plans to place more than 1,300 university office workers into a labor mobility scheme, though professors at the NTUA, who had been striking in solidarity with the workers, returned to work this week in a bid to ensure the start of the semester while their peers at Athens University have decided to return to work next week. With administrative staff continuing their action, however, it appeared unlikely that the two universities could resume normal operations. There were no reports of any classes at Athens University despite the return of academics earlier this week.The union representing students affiliated with conservative New Democracy, DAP-NDFK, on Wednesday called on rectors to “to rise to the occasion, even at this late hour, to cooperate so that the universities can open.” Sources said the students might also take legal action.Their cause has attracted public support too with more than 25,000 citizens having signed an online petition – at www.anoixtessxoles.gr – in favor of the institutions reopening.Education Minister Constantinos Arvanitopoulos, for his part, accused leftist SYRIZA of instigating the strike action.“It is evident that the main opposition is unable to assume the responsibility of its institutional role,” he said, accusing the party of creating an atmosphere of “polarization and open confrontation.”Arvanitopoulos said the leftists were exploiting the “sensitive area of education” once again to create upheaval.In comments to Vima FM, the rector of Athens University, Theodosis Pelegrinis, noted that the senate had voted in favor of lessons resuming “as long as administrative staff allow access to the classrooms.” “So I’m not misunderstood, they are absolutely justified,” the rector added, apparently referring to the striking staff.The government has issued civil mobilization orders three times this year – in January against Athens metro workers, in February against seamen and in May against teachers.Source: Kathimerini Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Turbulence ahead as Air France strike ends

first_imgAir France pilots have ended their 14 day strike against the carrier, despite failing to resolve to an agreement with the airline’s management over the development of its low cost operation Transavia.Air France’s main pilots union, SNPL France Alpa, announced it has decided to resume work after one the airline’s longest ever strikes forced the cancellation of more than half of its flights, costing the carrier around USD $355 million, The Australian reported.Although the strike has ended, the union plans to continue discussions over the Transavia development project, which Air France pilots fear will have a detrimental effect on their pay and conditions.However, Air France has announced it plans to speed up the development of Transavia, which it argues is crucial for the well-being of the company, as it struggles to compete with the increasing number of low cost airlines appearing in Europe, stating the project would create 1,000 jobs in France including 250 pilot positions.Air France says normal services are expected to resume in two to three days.Source = ETB News: Lana Bogunovichlast_img read more