ATHENS – Fired cleaning ladies angry they were let go while the government has protected others plan to protest again outside Police headquarters on Sept. 2.
They worked at the Finance Ministry but were summarily dumped as part of civil servant layoffs that have exempted Parliament workers, managers, consultants and those with political sponsors.
The demonstration is planned as a show of support for three of their colleagues testifying on charges of disturbing the peace and of assault causing bodily harm during clashes with police officers on July 10.
In a statement, the cleaners denied the allegations. They said they were staging a peaceful protest that was “once more met with a police crackdown.” They vowed vowed to continue their protests, which hit 118 days on Sept. 1, against their dismissal.
The Supreme Court will on September 23 discuss an appeal by the Finance Ministry that put on hold a ruling by a lower court ordering the ministry to rehire about 440 sacked cleaners. Despite the ruling the staff should be rehired, the coalition government led by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has ignored it without sanction.
The Ministry argued that the First Instance Court does not have the authority to rule on such matters and that the sackings were in the national interest, but didn’t explain how firing cleaning ladies was more important than others whose jobs have been saved.