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Press Release of the MEP Georgios Toussas regarding the incident of state suppression of Arcelor Mittal's workers

"Class struggle is the driving force of history"

In his intervention addressed to the European Commission, MEP of KKE Georgios Toussas denounces state repression against workers in the monopoly steel processing and production group "Arcelor Mittal", but also more generally in the EU Member States, while stressing that the right to strike as well as the right to organize the working class movement, the struggle for the overthrow of the power of the monopolies, are not negotiable. In his speech the MEP of KKE states inter alia:

" In January 2013 the monopoly steel production and processing group Arcelor Mittal announced the dismissal of 1300 workers at the group's plant in Liege, Belgium, added to the list of 2000 workers who have been laid off since 2011, while announcing massive layoffs of workers in factories in France and Luxembourg.

The monopoly of «Arcelor Mittal» had received financial support amounting to 2 million euro from the Federal government of Belgium and another 20 million euros from the Walloon regional government, while benefiting from a regime of provocative tax exemptions. In previous years, compromised union leaderships, in the name of "preserving jobs" accepted all of the company's anti-labour demands, allowing the effective abolition of collective labour agreements, wage reductions, "multi-specialisation" and replacing workers with structured working rights by cheaper workforce provided by slave trade-contractors.

The EU and member-states’ bourgeois governments' monopoly-friendly policies, the compromised trade union leaders, have one goal: to reduce the price of the labour power in order to ensure the profitability of monopolies. The anti-people attack on the life and the rights of the working class and the popular strata is imposed uniformly in all Member States, regardless of their budget deficits and public debt levels. The unemployed reached the number of 26 million in the EU, while the unemployment rate in the youth is dramatic.

The only way to impose this barbaric policy of the EU and of the governments is to employ authoritarianism, prohibition of strikes and popular mobilizations, the brutal violence of the police of the governments and the repressive mechanisms' of the EU.

In order to prevent and disperse the demonstration of the workers of «Arcelor Mittal» outside the European Parliament in Strasbourg, the French police attacked the workers with teargas, flash grenade and rubber bullets, with resulting in one protester worker losing his eye and dozens of others being injured.

At the same time in Greece, the three-party government of N.D-PASOK-DIMAR imposes the unacceptable measure of "civil mobilization" on the seafarers strikers, on the employees of the Athens Metro, proceeds to the arrest of PAME trade unionists and their prosecution based on falsified charges and attacks the roadblocks of the farmers who struggle against the anti-people policy of the CAP and the EU with teargas and riot police.

The class struggle is the driving force of history, for the overthrow of monopoly power, which is a prerequisite for the Workers' Power, in order to satisfy the contemporary needs of the working class and the popular strata.

Does the Commission believe that by attacking the right to strike, by authoritarianism, violence and repression, employed by the governments of Member States against the labour movement, they can do away with the workers' just struggle against anti-people policies? "


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