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For 50 days the strikers at “Greek Steelworks” remain unbowed

Solidarity needs to be strengthened

The working people and the popular strata from all over Attica demonstrated their support on Saturday morning in a vocal manner through the solidarity demonstration with the striking steelworkers organized by their trade union in the centre of Athens, which was supported by the All-workers Militant Front (PAME). It was a mass demonstration with the participation of thousands of workers, and was a dynamic response to the common course which has been mapped out by the businessmen in every sector with the aim of making the working class destitute.

The steelworkers are continuing to strike against the employers for 50 days and are escalating their struggle against the dismissals of 50 of their colleagues and the employer’s ultimatums that their working hours will be reduced and their salaries will be reduced by half. It must be noted that 15 days ago in an attempt to intimidate the steelworkers into retreating, the employers provocatively announced the increase of the number of dismissals from 34 to 50. In parallel the employers, mobilizing their henchmen, intensify the intimidation seeking to break their spirits, in vain however. At the same time, they intensify the intimidation against the workers in the second factory which they have in another region of Greece (Volos) with the aim of stopping the spread of the strike across the whole company.

The striking steelworkers in the General Meeting held last Thursday decided by a big majority to continue the strike. They state in a determined way that they will celebrate Christmas on the picket lines at the factory. While a mobilization was organized by PAME in the city of Volos with the aim of breaking the atmosphere of intimidation and also to expose the role of the employer-led trade union which obstructs the generalization of the struggle.

The steelworkers in the resolution of their General Meeting call on the whole working class and all the working people as well as all the Labour Centres in the wider region of Attica to call a 24 hour strike in every workplace in this region. Already the unions which belong to PAME are taking similar decisions to exert pressure in this direction.

It should be noted that with their rallying activity and struggle, the striking steelworkers and their trade union deal with a series of issues which arise from their lengthy struggle. A characteristic example is that the cutting off of the water supply of a striker who could not pay the bill was prevented through the intervention of the strikers and PAME.

At the same time, the unprecedented solidarity with the strike struggle of the steelworkers is strengthening. Visits and solidarity messages from trade unions, mass organizations from all over Greece. With the aims of gathering food for the festive meal of the strikers’ families, tonnes of meat, milk, vegetables, and fruit have been gathered while the offers of solidarity from trade unions, and ordinary workers continue such as wood for heating, clothing etc. Especially significant is the financial support.

In addition the coordination of the women and the families of the steelworkers is of particular importance. They systematically hold meetings in the factory. There is also the multi-facetted support with the organization of concerts, performances provided by artists to this great strike struggle.

The steelworkers have received dozens of solidarity messages from CPs, trade unions and workers’ organizations from all over the world. The strengthening of internationalist solidarity constitutes a basic condition and support so that the steelworkers can win a battle which concerns the entire working class of Greece.



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