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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 July, 2004, 00:08 GMT 01:08 UK
Olympics hotels face strike threat
By Richard Galpin
BBC correspondent in Athens

The Olympic flame burns in Athens
Athens is racing against time to finish preparations for the games
Hotel workers in Athens, Greece, are threatening to go on strike during the Olympic games in the city next month.

The union representing more than 7,000 hotel workers is demanding a pay increase and a special Olympic bonus.

The union - which has called for a day-long strike on Wednesday - said it would take further action unless hotel owners agreed to a deal.

There has recently been a rash of demands and strike threats by a range of workers in Athens.

They all know they have great leverage at what is a critical time for the country.

But the government itself may be partly to blame, having announced substantial bonuses for members of the security forces who will be on duty during the games.

Many others who are having to work during what is normally a holiday month feel they are also entitled to extra payments.

The association representing hotel owners is trying to play down the strike, saying it will not cause serious disruption to business as occupancy rates are currently low.

But clearly that will not be the case during the Olympics, which begin on 13 August.

With hundreds of thousands of people expected to stay in the city, the hotels should be filled to capacity.




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