Greek ambulance crews threaten strike action

Ambulance
crews and other emergency service staff have threatened to strike during the
Olympic Games in Athens unless they receive extra pay for work at next month’s
games.

It
was the latest warning by Greek unions seeking government bonuses for
cancelling holidays to be on full duty during the two week games in mid-August.

"We
have decided to strike during the Olympics if we do not get an Olympic bonus
like the security forces," said Ilias Ioannides, head of the country’s
union of emergency services employees, which includes ambulance teams,
paramedics and other medical rescue units.

Labour
groups throughout the country have held strikes and rallies to press for
Olympic bonuses, which have been promised to police and other security forces
in amounts up to £1,630.

But
the Greek Government has so far rejected the bonus request in a bid to slow the
rising cost of the games, which have already passed the £6.5bn mark.

The
two sides are due to meet today in an attempt to resolve the differences.

By Mike Berry

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