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Strike of PAME in Greece- starting point for new struggles

The strike on 16th July with the demonstrations against the multi-pronged law of the government of ND and PASOK in Athens and in 65 cities throughout the country has been the starting point for new struggles. This draft law threatens to smash any rights that have remained for the working people both in the private and public sector, by means of abolishing the National Collective Bargaining Agreement and setting the minimum wage according to the needs of the businesses’ profitability , dismissing thousands of employees in the public sector and the municipalities, imposing new cuts in healthcare and welfare, introducing new tax categories that impose an even more savage tax plundering with the abolition of tax-free income, something that will have tragic consequences in the every-day life of the workers’ and people’s families.

The class oriented forces fought for this strike in difficult conditions under the overall assault of the government and the employers, with the employer-led trade unionism undermining the struggle of the working people. They showed that the working people, both in public and private sector, must carry out a unified struggle along with self-employed and poor farmers.

In Athens the Omonia Square was flooded with strikers and protesters who arrived at 10:30 after having gathered in their meeting points. It was a particularly mass strike demonstration. There has also been an important participation of workers who in the previous organized struggles in their workplaces.

Dimitris Koutoumpas, GS of the CC of the KKE participated in the demonstration and made the following statement: “this multi-pronged daft law is a monstrosity. Apart from the mass dismissals, the tax plundering, the cuts in the public organisation for healthcare we would like to denounce in particular the effort to generalize individual labour contracts with the reduction of the minimum wage, which is actually a starvation wage, below 500 Euros. The suffocation that our people feel must be immediately transformed into a mass people’s counterattack. The people must take their future into their own hands without expecting solutions from above so as to pave the way as soon as possible and turn their back to the new bipolar system which is being created”.

Giannis Tasioulas cadre of PAME and President of the Federation of Construction Workers in Greece delivered the speech at the demonstration.

He noted: “the view that the new measures that the government brings affect exclusively several categories of public employees or the “high-paid” ones is spreading or prevailing in large sections of the working people both in private and public sector.

This view is misleading, disorienting, dangerous. It is a poison. It serves those who want to divide the working people, to turn one section against another. It conceals the unified character of the assault against all working people, in all sectors. The assault concerns the working people, the unemployed, the self-employed, the small and medium sized farmers, the youth, the women. Nobody is left out. Only capital and monopolies remain intact and have their interests promoted. The struggle does not end with the adoption of the draft law.

We have the responsibly to enlighten the working people in the workplaces, in the factories, in the neighborhoods, to mobilize them so as to engage in a struggle of rupture, in a struggle for the overthrow of the anti-people anti-labour policy and the power of capital. We are well aware of the fact that the participation in today’s strike does not correspond to the assault that the working class and the poor popular strata are suffering.

We know that many workers in factories and other workplaces, under the pressure of intimidation as well as due to the illusions that they can avoid the worse or that they are safe or because they expect the improvement of the situation with a change of government did not go on strike today although they see that their life has deteriorated.

We want to say it clearly: there cannot be any prospect or victory for the working class and the poor popular strata unless this situation changes, unless the level of organization in workplaces, factories, big businesses increases” underlined the trade-unionist of PAME.

After the rally of PAME the class oriented trade unions and federations marched to the Syntagma Square in a particularly mass demonstration.



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