Greek public unions, upset over austerity measures and benefit reductions, have once again gone on strike (their favorite pastime). This go around, air traffic has been delayed and 89 flights were canceled and another 109 rescheduled, stranding tourists.

In response, the Greek government is offering to pay costs incurred by travelers affected by the strikes.

The Guardian discusses the situation in detail in Strike-hit Greece vows help for tourists.

Greece’s promise to recompense tourists affected by industrial action was tested today as thousands of holidaymakers were left stranded by a general strike over the economic austerity measures.

The strike, the sixth in as many months, saw shutters come down nationwide as workers in the public and private sectors joined the walkout. At Athens international airport 89 flights were cancelled and 109 rescheduled as air traffic controllers heeded union calls to join the protests. Striking workers kept office blocks, schools, hospitals and banks closed.

The ruling socialists have vowed to pay up to €70 (£58) a day to cover costs incurred because of strikes. “We are guaranteeing to pay any extra room and board any visitor in Greece pays,” said the tourism minister, Pavlos Geroulanos. “Even if [they are] stuck here because of a volcano in Iceland.”

Tourism has nosedived this year after public protests over the policies demanded by the international community in return for a €110bn rescue package. More often than not tourists have cited strikes when cancelling bookings.

Ronald Reagan’s PATCO Play

The only thing Greece has going for it is tourism, and the idiotic unions are threatening their own livelihood. Worse yet, they have lessened Greece’s already extremely slim chances of extraditing itself from its budget mess.

Greece desperately needs Ronald Reagan’s PATCO Play.

The Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization or PATCO was a United States trade union which operated from 1968 until its decertification in 1981 following a strike which was broken by the Reagan Administration. The 1981 strike and defeat of PATCO has been called “one of the most important events in late twentieth century U.S. labor history.

On August 3, 1981 the union declared a strike, seeking better working conditions, better pay and a 32-hour workweek. In doing so, the union violated a law {5 U.S.C. (Supp. III 1956) 118p.} that banned strikes by government unions.

Ronald Reagan, declared the PATCO strike a “peril to national safety” and ordered them back to work under the terms of the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947. Only 1,300 of the nearly 13,000 controllers returned to work.

On August 5, following the PATCO workers refusal to return to work Reagan fired the 11,345 striking air traffic controllers who had ignored the order,[6][7] and banned them from federal service for life (this ban was later rescinded by President Bill Clinton in 1993).

The proper response to any striking public union (either in Greece or the US) is to fire everyone on strike. Better yet, public unions should be illegal in the first place, and the issue would never come up.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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