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Hands off the right of strike!
“The amendment that abolishes the right to strike will not pass. Even if it is approved the workers will overrule it in practice”. That was the clear message sent by the workers that heeded the call of the All-workers’ Militant Front (PAME) – of the class oriented trade-union organizations, and participated in the demonstrations organized on the 5th of December 2017 in Athens and many other cities of the country.
In the evening of the 4th of December the SYRIZA-ANEL government tried to approve the abolition of the right to strike slyly like a thief. Its initial plan could not be achieved, resulting in revoking the amendment before midnight of the same day, after the reactions by the KKE and by the trade-union movement: they immediately condemned the miserable tactics of the government and organized a demonstration for yesterday, during the voting of the amendment. In any case, the government that does the dirty job of the capital, has not changed its antilabor plans and is planning to bring again the amendment through a different bill.
With this bill the government requires that in order to decide to go on strike the resolution should be taken with a minimum of support of 50% +1 of the workers in the assembly and in the voting. A prerequisite that, as Dimitris Koutsoumbas, SG of the CC of KKE, denounced from the parliament podium in conditions that the arbitrariness of the bosses, the terror, the blackmails of layoffs, lead to the workers to behave in a clandestine manner in order to inform one another, to collectively discuss, to organize an assembly or a demonstration, as if we are in conditions of deep illegality.
The SG of the CC of KKE noted among other things that: “You are a ruthless government that has no remorse, in order to serve the interests of the capital. Your officials have reached the point of saying that it is a measure to reinforce democracy in the unions! You have broken every record! The Union of Greek Industrialists surely will be crying like a baby from the thrill you are giving them. Even in their wildest dream they could not imagine that they would find such a capable servant! That is why you are so recognized, as I mentioned earlier, from your “partners” in the EU”.
D.Koutsoumbas warned the anti-people government that “you are deeply mistaken if you thing that this aberration will be applied in practice. The workers will cancel it with their organization and struggle, as they will cancel every effort to impede their struggle, the social progress and will blast to kingdom come, when the time comes, every political representative of this rotten exploitative system”.
Workers confronted by the government with teargas and riot police
Immediate, combative response against the effort of the antilabor plans of the government-EU-capital to abolish the right to strike was given by the workers that participated in the demonstration of the All-workers’ Militant Front (PAME) in Athens on December 5th at noon.
The demonstrators of PAME, after their protest rally, headed to the ministry of “Labor”, that was closed down and locked, its leadership nowhere to be found.
The workers replied to this new affront by breaking through the barriers and entering the gallery that leads to the ministry entrance, despite the efforts of the riot police to push them away. Demonstrators where injured during the police operation, the president of the Trade-Union of Municipal Workers of Athens among them.
The workers torn off letter by letter the label that read “MINISTRY OF LABOR”, to show that this is not a ministry for the workers but for the bosses.
The demonstration continued heading to the Parliament shouting “Strike is a right of the workers, achieved with struggles, with blood and sacrifices”, “Forward for workers’ unions, not unions of the government and of the bosses”. When the workers reached the Parliament, they wrote with red paint in its entrance “Hands off the Strike” and also “delivered” the letters of the ministry’s label.
The demonstration continued towards the Prime Minister’s Mansion, where the government “welcomed” the demonstrators with a barrier of police vehicles and spraying the demonstrators with teargas reaffirming thusly its arbitrariness.
The demonstration culminated with a speech of Nikos Mavrokefalos, member of the Executive Secretariat of PAME, addressed to the gathered workers, where he mentioned: “They received a first response. They will not dare to bring forward again suddenly laws that abolish the right of strike. The working class will respond them decisively. We give all our forces from now and onwards, everyday in the workplaces and in the sectors without loosing time, discussing with all the workers, preparing the organization and the culmination of our struggle, preparing the success of the strike on December 14th.”
Solidarity messages arrive in dozens to PAME, from around the world. WFTU also made a public declaration of condemnation of the antilabor plans.