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Sacked cleaning women barricade themselves inside finance ministry

Finance ministry cleaning staff demand court decision reinstating them be enforced

Sacked cleaning women are demanding their reinstatement after a May 16 court decision said they were illegally dismissed by the government

(Photo: EnetEnglish) (Photo: EnetEnglish) Dozens of women have barricaded themselves at the entrance to the finance ministry in central Athens, demanding that a recent court decision giving them back their cleaning jobs at the ministry be enforced.

Early on Thursday, a group of cleaners placed a chain and padlocked the doors to the ministry from within, while colleagues of theirs sat down in front of the building.

A large contingent of riot police is at the scene. It is understood that they have told the cleaners that they will intervene unless the protest ends.

Last September, 465 finance ministry cleaning women – who were employed at ministry buildings and tax offices around the country – were effectively dismissed when they were placed in the so-called mobility scheme. They received reduced wages for eight months and were due to be formally dismissed on May 18, unless they found alternative employment in the public sector in the meantime. 

However, on May 16, an Athens court upheld an appeal from 397 of the women against the decision to place them in the mobility scheme.

Since September, the women have maintained a peaceful protest outside the ministry

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