Solidarity to the striking seamen
Today, the government once again called for the requisition of workers in strike. This time it was the turn of the seamen that are struggling against the abolishment of their collective employment agreement and other regulations that protect their working rights. The new legislation of the government leads to layoffs and further wage cuts. Despite the requisition the union of the seamen just decided the continuation of the strike at Pireus and called for a continuous blockade of the port all night.
After four years of continuous austerity imposed by the Troika, after three different governments, after three so called rescue plans, nothing has improved in Greece. In fact, the situation for the vast majority of the population has become unbearable. The official unemployment as a result of massive lay-offs initiated both in the public and the private sector has reached 26.6% and more than 56.7% among the youth. The already weak local economy has been completely destroyed. More than 100.000 small and medium – sized businesses went bankrupt. The wages and pensions are seriously slashed and the number of people who work without being paid at all is increasing every day. Beyond any doubt, the working class, the unemployed and the pensioners in Greece are facing the worst disaster since the Second World War. Poverty is everywhere…
At the same time the Greek economic elite, the bankers, the ship owners, the mass media owners and the ‘big fish’ of the touristic industry continue to profit and evade taxation. The way that the Greek government handled the case of the Lagard list, a list with Greeks that are possible tax evader, is extremely provocative. It is also extremely provocative that the ship owners, who own the largest fleet in Europe and the second in the world, enjoy more than 70 tax exceptions and contribute less than the immigrants to the Greek GDP. It is completely provocative the way that the mass media divide the Greek people by slandering every attempt of working people to defend their rights.
The strategy of the Greek government is clear. Divide and conquer is called and applied on its own people. The only thing that cares about is the interests of the privileged ones. It is absolutely unacceptable the same time that all the above “honest and creative” businessmen continue to profit, the Greek government abolishes the last remainants of the working rights and represses violently every attempt of the workers to defend their rights.
The requisition of the seamen is the latest episode of a serious of repressive attacks of the government against the people. On January 16th, the workers of Athens metro went on strike in an attempt to defend their collective employment agreement and stop the new wage cuts. Their salary was reduced four times the last two years and the total reduction reached 45%. After eight days on strike the government ordered their requisition without addressing any of their demands…
On January 30th, the police attacked with tear gas the demonstration of trade unionists at the Ministry of Employment. 35 trade unionists were arrested and are facing charges of disturbing the social peace.
In the mean time, the police has evacuated violently several independent social centers arresting tens of people.
We support the struggle of the seamen and we express our full solidarity to their fair demands.
They are fighting for decency! Their struggle is our struggle!