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PAME Mobilization: “Rise up; Push aside the bureaucrats of the ETUC”!

Through a dynamic mobilization outside the Athens Concert Hall, where the 12th congress of the European Confederation of Trade Unions was being held, the class-oriented unions which are rallied by PAME denounced the presence of the European labour aristocracy in our country. With continual statements in English and Greek, the class-oriented forces informed passers-by concerning the role of European government and employer-led trade unionism in the “burying” of labour rights, in the “decapitation” of the labour movement.

With the banner “ETUC bureaucrats out. They support the political line of the plutocracy” and “ETUC bureaucrats go home” the demonstrators declared to the workers that they cannot expect anything good from this particular congress and called on them to rally to PAME and the World Federation of Trade Unions. They proclaimed that the bureaucrats of the ETUC are not welcome here. As the class-oriented unions stressed, the ETUC is the tool of the plutocrats and the governments, it supported the Maastricht and Lisbon treaties, contributed to the “medieval” labour situation, and consciously supports the anti-people political line of the EU, presenting it as the only way. At the same time, it never refers to the contemporary needs of the workers and their satisfaction.

The demonstrators shouted slogans such as “bureaucrats, labour aristocrats, you support the capitalists.” And “workers of Europe rise up; push the ETUC bureaucrats aside.” Several motorists hooted and verbally expressed their approval.

It should be noted that the class-oriented forces militantly “welcomed” the arrival of the bureaucratic ETUC and its congress with posters (see photos) which were hung up all over Athens.

This initiative which revealed to the working class the role of the ETUC provoked an operation to silence it, in which the municipality of Athens participated as well. The municipality of Athens, as was denounced on Saturday by the Executive Secretariat of PAME, “ordered its workers to take down the propaganda material which had been hung up (posters etc).”

PAME stressed that “PAME declares to all the supporters of the anti-people policy line, that their attempt to gag the class-oriented labour movement and trade unions will not succeed. The working class of Greece has woken up to the bureaucrats of the ETUC and their fellow-travellers in our country, GSEE and ADEDY.”

But the congress of the ETUC itself is indicative of the oaths of loyalty which the representatives of the labour aristocracy of the ETUC give to the EU and capital.

Oaths of loyalty to the one way road of the capitalist integration of the EU were given by the ETUC at its congress, eulogising the “social dialogue” and class collaboration and manufacturing once more the myth of a joint way out of the crisis with the monopolies.

The Vice-president of the commission itself, V, Reding promoted the one way road of the EU at the congress. “Europe is the solution.” she said and called on the delegates “to follow” and show decisiveness so that the “EU gets out of the crisis even stronger.” That is to say that the European monopolies to get out of the crisis stronger.

The president of the ETUC, W. Wedin, referred to the “achievements of the social dialogue”. He supported the principle of the Lisbon Treaty for the “free movement of labour power” and hypocritically took a position “against discrimination”, as if the “free” movement of workers in conditions of the dominance of the monopolies and uneven capitalist development could take placein a way that protects workers. At the same time he raised his banner against the “neo-liberalism which is attacking Europe”

The president of Greece’s confederation of trade unions, GSEE, G. Panagopoulos spoke along the same lines. He spoke of “neo-liberal paranoia” in an attempt to whitewash the political line of social-democracy, to conceal the fact that more and more workers in the EU understand every day, that liberal and social-democratic parties jointly support the same anti-worker policies and despite their various differences over issues of management both whether in government or opposition serve the interests of capital.

The president of GSEE as regards our country claimed that the venture of the memorandum had “failed” and that the “medicine is worse than the disease”…In this way the majority in GSEE desire to hide the simple truth, that these specific measures were not taken to “save” the workers, but to save the capitalists. And in this it was extremely successful. What GSEE, and many others, present as a “mistake”, concealing its deeper class character, is a conscious choice of the EU and the national governments, so that the people pay for the crisis and that the monopolies are further strengthened. In any case, the other “mixture” of economic policies which the ETUC and its local partners present as an “alternative solution”, leads to the same result by another road. How different from this is the proposal of ADEDY “for a new political direction in Europe” and presents a “European Bank of State Loans” as being in this direction, its proposal for Eurobonds and “the promotion of a policy of adjusting salaries to socially acceptable levels”, there are also the similar proposals of the opportunists in Greece concerning a “militant renegotiation of the debt”… They demand a management of the system, with no relation a class analysis and to class struggle; this is their recipe in the conditions of crisis.

For this reason, the president of the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises G. Daskalopoulos has no problem in expressing the certainty that the proposals of the congress of the ETUC “will fertilise the consciousness of the Greek trade union movement” and to grandstand concerning the “common stance of the social partners in Greece”, which “had results which constitute a dam against the crisis”. In reality, the president of the HFE is calling a spade a spade. These results can be seen in the reduction of real earnings by 15% over 2010-11 and in the hundreds of thousands of dismissals. They constituted the best possible “dam” in the interests of the large employers.

In addition it should be noted that in his statement the MEP of the KKE denounced the role and contribution of the ETUC for the anti-worker policies and the strategy of capital to be implemented.

It is time to reveal to the working class the role of the bureaucrats as widely as possible, of the ETUC and all the compromised leaderships in the labour movement. This revelation is a precondition for the regroupment of the labour movement and for its class orientation. The existence and strengthening of the WFTU, which was confirmed by its recent congress in Athens in April, is the only choice today which unwaveringly serves the interests of the working class against the strategy of capital.


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