“Greece’s government announced emergency powers Thursday to force striking subway workers back to work, with those defying it risking dismissal, arrest and jail in an escalating standoff over austerity measures.
In a swift backlash, unions announced immediate strikes that halted all public transport across the capital for the rest of the day, forcing commuters to trudge through a thunderstorm or vie for taxis to get home in the evening.
The disruption was set to continue, with some declaring further labor action.
“We are protesting and if they fire people, let them come, they will take us dead from here,” said Antonis Stamatopoulos, head of the Athens metro workers’ union. “Starting tomorrow there will be a transportation blackout.”