September 4, 2018 / 9:26 AM / 20 days ago

Greek seamen end strike after reaching deal on wage increase

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek seamen on Tuesday called off a strike that had kept ferries and passengers stranded in ports around the country, after reaching a deal with employers on a wage increase.

Tourists make their way next to a moored passenger ferry during a second consecutive 24-hour strike of Greece's seamen's federation PNO against austerity policies affecting their sector, at the port of Piraeus, Greece, September 4, 2018. REUTERS/Costas Baltas

The strike, which started at 0600 (0300 GMT) on Monday, was led by the PNO seamen’s federation and other unions including dockers and merchant marine engineers.

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The PNO had initially planned to continue the strike to Wednesday but said it would end it after reaching an agreement with employers on a 2 percent pay rise this year, its members’ first increase for eight years.

The walkout forced many holidaymakers to seek alternative ways of traveling in a country where tourism is a pivotal industry for an economy which is slowly emerging from a debt crisis.

After eight years of austerity prescribed by Greece’s international lenders, its euro zone partners and the International Monetary Fund, the left-led government has pledged to reverse unpopular labor reforms and raise wages.

Marine unions have strongly resisted wage cuts prescribed by the country’s international lenders and reforms liberalizing the shipping sector.

Reporting by Renee Maltezou; editing by Andrew Roche

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