efe-epaAthens

Greek media workers staged a 24-hour strike Tuesday demanding collective trade union agreements and denouncing austerity policies imposed by the government.

The one-day media strike was a prelude to a general strike scheduled for Wednesday, called for by the Greek General Confederation of Workers (GSEE), the nation's main umbrella trade union, and backed by press, radio, and TV unions, in defense of insurance funds, living wages, pensions and a bid to recoup wage cuts suffered in years of austerity.

"Under the slogan: 'strike-struggle-claim,' workers demand among others: a 751 euro ($ 850) minimum wage, collective trade agreements, work for all, a fair and sustainable social security system without cuts to pensions and benefits," GSEE said in a statement.

It added: "the policies of punitive austerity, poverty, impoverishment, and its tragic effect on society and the economy, must end."

Greek media workers customarily strike on the eve of nationwide action so that they can report on the day of demonstration.

Wednesday's 24-hour nationwide strike is to include a rally in Klafthmonos Square in central Athens.

The strike will affect public transport in the greater Athens area.

STASY tram and trolley buses staff have supported the strike, while Athens' three metro lines will also remain closed.

Ferries will remain docked after the Panhellenic Seamen's Federation (PNO) also backed the strike.

Greece's minimum wage is currently 586 euros ($ 663) per month.

The Mediterranean country was emerging from its bailout program with the International Monetary Fund and the European Union that required deep cuts in order to pay back an emergency loan valued at 61.9 billion euros ($70.8 billion).

The left-wing Syriza coalition government of Alexis Tsipras opposed EU bailouts and austerity policies but was forced to accept the third economic adjustment program imposed by Greece's lenders or face the country's likely economic collapse.

The measures were deeply unpopular in Greek civil society.