<
>

Nationwide strike to affect many services

ATHENS, Greece -- A one-day nationwide strike by Greece's
largest labor union could disrupt already delayed Olympic
construction projects.

The strike, which is to include all labor organizations, is
scheduled for Wednesday and expected to shut down some public
services -- including mass transit -- close some banks, and cause
flight delays and cancellations at airports around Greece.

It might also stop work at numerous delayed construction
projects for the Aug. 13-29 Olympics, the union said.

The strike by mass transit workers might also affect spectator
participation in a special ceremony marking the arrival of the
Olympic flame in Athens. The flame, lit last week in Ancient
Olympia, will be displayed until June 4 at the marble Athens
stadium that hosted the first modern Olympiad. The flame will then
begin a global relay leading up to the games.

During the strike, union members are to march through the center
of Athens to demand wage increases of 8 percent for 2004 instead of
3.2 percent. They also want the work week shortened from 40 to 39
hours.