April 27, 2010

21-22 April 48-hour strike of PAME- a decisive step for the escalation of the struggle, KKE News, April 27, 2010


The success of the 48-hour strike of All Workers’ Militant Front (PAME) has been a decisive step for the escalation of the struggle of the working class, the poor popular strata and the youth. Tens of thousands of workers and employees both in the private and public sector followed the call of PAME, which is the class oriented alliance of trade unions, federations, labour centers and trade unionists and went on strike. PAME organised mass strike demonstrations in 69 cities throughout the country.

The 48-hour strike expressed on the one hand the opposition to the anti-people measures and especially to the new bill of the social democrat government of PASOK on social security that strikes a blow at the rights of the working people and the poor popular strata. On the other hand, it called into question the so-called bourgeois legitimacy and the intimidation of the plutocracy.

The success of the strike has been one more response to the anti-people measures announced by the social democrat government of PASOK that promotes cuts on salaries and pensions, increase of retirement ages, general application of flexible forms of employment, abolition of restrictions on mass dismissals, privatizations by means of new reactionary reforms that promote the merging of municipalities, the lift of cabotage that increases unregistered employment among seamen, liberalization of closed professions etc.

The working people rejected the coordinated effort of government, the other bourgeois and opportunist forces that sought the consensus of the people in order to “save the country from the crisis”. They rejected and unveiled the false dilemma of the plutocracy: “EU or IMF” that in fact forces the people to choose which one will undertake the mission to lead the people to bankruptcy -as they have decided together- and ensure new immense profits for plutocracy.

Since the daybreak of April 21st thousand of workers picketed factory gates and other workplaces and paralyzed for 48 hours big multinational companies, big industries, department stores, hotels, the port of Piraeus (the biggest port in the country) and other workplaces as well.

The working class in Greece is now stronger; it defied the employers’ intimidation and the strike breakers of the yellow trade unionism that controls the trade union federations in the private (GSEE) and public sector (ADEDY). The bourgeoisie and in particular the ship-owners that constitute its hard core made every effort to stop the strike of PAME in the port. Thus, according to a court decision on April 20 the strike was declared illegal and abusive. However, not even for a single moment did the decision of the court bend the seamen who guarded their strike for 48 hours.

We should also highlight that once again GSEE aided the intimidation campaign launched by plutocracy along with the media. Following its strike-breaking tactics it did not stage a strike and in that way it supported the government. On the other hand, ADEDY called for a strike only for April 22 and held a rally in the centre of Athens which was marked by the scant participation of the working people.

On the contrary, the mass rally of PAME at Syntagma Square in Athens was held with tens of thousands of people who condemned the barbarous anti-labour anti-people offensive launched by the government, the employers, the EU and the parties of the bourgeoisie.

In his speech Yiannis Tasioulas, President of the Athens trade union of construction workers condemned the action of the ship-owners to declare the strike illegal and highlighted that “law is the rights of the workers”. Representatives of PASEVE (Antimonopoly Rally of the self-employed and the small tradesman) and other trade unionists also saluted the demonstration as well.

A delegation of the CC of KKE headed by the General Secretary of the CC of KKE, Aleka Papariga participated in the rally.

“Once again the seamen showed the way with their fearlessness and their disobedience towards the anti-labour decision of the justice. We must resist otherwise they will lead us to Washington and Brussels, to the Euro zone and the IMF like sheep to the slaughter. Here is the dilemma of the government: either we take a loan and people loose all their rights or we do not take any and people loose everything as well. The working people must reject this dilemma and move on to the recovery of the movement because only this can pave the way for the rights of the workers. The recovery of the economy means the recovery of the profit making and the plutocracy. The IMF and the Eurozone pursue the abolition of people’s gains and the breaking of people’s struggles. Beyond that, any loan will bring new worse anti labour measures in return. People must stand up to this offensive” commented Aleka Papariga in her statement to the media.

Furthermore, an important element of this strike is that tens of communist and workers’ parties, federations and trade unions from all over the world expressed their solidarity with the 48-hour strike of PAME.

The struggle will escalate with the new 24-hour strike of the seamen on April 26 against the lift of the cabotage and the total liberation of navigation that the EU and the government promote, with the strike demonstrations on May 1st and with multiform mobilisations for the escalation of the struggle in the next period.

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