Greek ferry crews call a strike over work conditions after the death of a passenger pushed overboard


ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Travelers to Greece’s popular island destinations will face disruptions next week because of a 24-hour strike on Sept. 13 by ferry crews who cite safety and labor concerns.

The PNO union said the decision was made Friday “on the occasion of the repulsive incident” this week in Greece’s main port of Piraeus, in which a tardy passenger drowned after being pushed into the sea by a ferry crew member.

The union didn’t directly link the reasons for the strike with Tuesday’s drowning, which sparked anger and condemnation across Greece.

A PNO statement deplored what it called the improper implementation of laws and regulations on shipping and harbor safety. It said crew members are overworked and ferry sailing schedules are “unreasonable,” which PNO said raises severe safety concerns.

The statement also called on the government to “take all necessary measures to protect human life at sea.”

An island ferry captain and three of his crew were arrested and charged Wednesday over the 36-year-old man’s death in Piraeus.

A video of the incident showed the man trying to board the Blue Horizon ferry as it prepared to leave, and a crewman shoving him off the loading ramp into waters violently churned by the moving ship’s propellers.

No effort was made to save the man, and the ferry continued on its course far out of port until it was ordered back.

An investigation is underway into harbor authorities’ response to the incident, and two senior Piraeus port police officers have been suspended.

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