Monday, 5 November 2012

Scheduled strike

Taxi owners in Greece are on 'duration strike' as of today, meaning that they haven't given an end date to the strike, which depends on their issues being resolved: a reduction in the flat tax rate which stands at 28% at the moment, and the potential loss of business through privatisation plans which will allow hotels to have their own taxi services to and from airports (on islands, this is the main source of revenue for cabbies).

The cabbies are not alone - the whole country seems to be going on strike this week, according to today's headlines: the public power suppliers start today, while the public servants' union and the general workers' union (ie everybody who isn't a public servant or freelancer/business owner) have called for a 48-hour general strike starting from tomorrow. Journalists and lawyers have also announced strikes, but as far as I know, they are constantly on strike anyway (so why are they announcing a new one? to substantiate themselves, I suppose).

Mr Organically Cooked in his cab

Strikes are optional among the union strikes, but not necessarily so among the 'closed shops' (eg taxis, journalists, lawyers). There, it is demanded of everyone to strike. Cab drivers who do not own the taxi themselves regard themselves as out of the game, so they may continue to work - but that's a bit risky, if you get my gist. It's up to the owners of the cab they work for to get it off the road (for the taxi's safety).

Admittedly, the tourist season is over, so there isn't much cab work to deal with at the moment. My husband works onlyu during the day because there is little to no work at night. He has also given up weekend work - agian, because business is too low. "If I can pay the daily running costs of the cab," he tells me, which are currently in the range of €30-40, "at least I won't be in the red."

Mr Organically Cooked in his garden

Strikes are not desirable, but we don't make the rules; other do, and we just follow them. That's when we are thankful for the good weather. There's the summer garden to clear up, the wooden shutters that need to be varnished, the iron fencing that needs to be painted, the spinach that needs planting, the basement that needs a tidy-up, a bike that needs to be repaired, and I'm sure we'll find many other jobs that need doing too. Public servants who choose to go on strike, along with those 'general workers', will probably indulge in such activities in places Crete, and other rural areas of Greece, where to go on strike means to get some work done. Don't know about journalists and lawyers - their palms generally tend to be smooth.

©All Rights Reserved/Organically cooked. No part of this blog may be reproduced and/or copied by any means without prior consent from Maria Verivaki.