Flights to and from Greece will be halted for four hours on Thursday when air traffic controllers walk off the job to join a public sector walkout against labour reforms.
The stoppage is part of an anti-austerity strike by public sector union ADEDY which called for its half a million members to march to parliament on July 15 as lawmakers will be voting on civil servants' retirement rules.
Air traffic controllers cancelled earlier plans for a 24-hour strike on July 14 and said that instead they would stop work between 0800 and 1200 GMT on Thursday to protest against the pension reforms and to ask for payment of overtime.
"We won't stage a 24-hour strike but stop for four hours on Thursday to join the public sector union stoppage," Yannis Kourmoulakis, general secretary of the air traffic controllers union told Reuters on Monday.
Despite repeated general strikes and protests against the reform, Greece's parliament approved last week a sweeping pension reform that curbs early retirement and raises the retirement age to 65 for all.
The reforms are part of an austerity package agreed with the EU and the IMF in return for a 110 billion euro ($138.6 billion) bailout.
The strikes have hurt tourism, which accounts for nearly a fifth of Greece's 240 billion euro economy. Air traffic controllers did not take part in May and June walkouts, saying they did not want to further hurt the sector.
Greece's main airlines, Olympic and Aegean, were expected to release a flight cancellation bulletin later in the day.
Some 12,000 striking people marched peacefully to parliament last week -- down from 50,000 in May, in a sign of weariness with protests as the summer kicks in.
Greece's main trade unions have vowed to continue with labour action in coming months.
"We will force the government to withdraw these reforms. Our interventions will be powerful in September," said ADEDY's general secretary Ilias Iliopoulos.
European trade unions have said they will hold a "European Day of Action" on Sept. 29 to protest against austerity across the region. ($1=.7939 Euro)
ReutersGüncelleme Tarihi: 12 Temmuz 2010, 18:50