Greece’s two largest labor unions have called a 24-hour general strike 6/12 to protest the government’s move to close state-run TV and radio as part of public spending cuts. TV and radio signals from the Hellenic Broadcasting Corp., or ERT, went dead early Wednesday, hours after the government closed the broadcaster down and fired its 2,500 workers, citing the need to cut “incredible waste.”
But thousands of protesters remained outside the company’s headquarters north of Athens as ERT’s journalists defied the order and continued a live Internet broadcast.
The civil servants’ union ADEDY told the Associated Press it had called a strike and a series of protests to be held outside the ERT headquarters. The larger GSEE union was also meeting to ratify the decision and join the nationwide strike, officials from that union said.
Journalist unions also launched rolling 24-hour strikes, halting news programs on Greece’s privately owned broadcasters, while the government’s center-left coalition partners demanded that ERT’s closure be reversed, reported The AP/Yahoo.
The broadcaster is largely state-funded, with every Greek household paying a fee through its electricity bills — whether they have a TV set or not. There are also several private broadcasters in Greece, including Mega and Sky.
ERT employees have been staging work stoppages for months, opposing plans to restructure the broadcaster as demanded by Greece’s so-called troika of international creditors.