December 25, 2009
Greek General Strike on December 17th
GENERAL STRIKE ON THE 17th OF DECEMBER
On December 17, All Militant Workers’ Front (PAME), which gathers in its ranks the class oriented forces of the Greek trade union movement, called for a 24-hour nationwide strike against the anti-people’s plans of the social democrat PASOK government which are also supported by the liberal party of ND.
This attack, which is based on the general EU guidelines for the increase of the capital’s profit making, strikes a decisive blow on the labour and social security rights. For that reason the government invited political parties and the trade union organizations to the “social partnership” talks. KKE and PAME do not participate in this fake dialogue that aims at the restriction of worker’s rights. Communists along with the forces of PAME called upon the people to resist and intensify the struggle against the anti-people’s plans that under the pretext of the capitalist crisis intend to place new burdens on the people. Thus, they called for a 24 hour strike on December 17.
A series of nationwide industrial unions participated in the strike, that is the Federation of Construction Workers’ -the biggest industrial federation in the country- the Federations of workers in food and beverages companies, in press and printing companies, the Federation of accountants, the Federation of workers in the textile, garments and leather industries, the Federation of workers in private hospitals, and the federation of pharmaceuticals; in addition, 14 Labour Centres, that is regional trade union organisations that rally all the trade unions acting in their region, as well as tens of primary trade unions both in private and public sector. As a result of the dynamics of the strike, a series of trade unions and federations that do not join the ranks of PAME such as the Athens Union of Journalists and the Federation of Nurses went on strike.
The Confederation of the trade unions of workers in private sector (GSEE) that participates in the social partnership talks, terrorized by the strike of PAME, has resorted -for the first time- to an open strike-breaking statement urging the workers not to participate in the strike. PAME and KKE condemned this outrageous action.
Significant day for the working class of Greece
The 17th of December all of Greece turned into a great river of demonstrating workers. Thousands of working places (factories, construction sites, offices and ships) stopped while the strike rallies in 64 Greek cities were massive. Since the early morning thousands of workers and youth joined the picket lines.
Thousands of people demonstrated in Athens
The blocks of the “stagiers” (the workers in stage programs), the builders and the students with the Student’s Militant Front (MAS) stood out in the rally. Many banners wrote: “Organization - Counterattack” while the main slogan was “Law is the right of the worker”. In the rally that took place in Athens, the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist party of Greece, Aleka Papariga, participated.
The strike in Piraeus
An example of the strike’s success is that no ship left from the port of Piraeus (the country’s largest port) even though the strike had been considered illegal by the court the day before. The two primary seamen trade unions PEMEN and STEFENSON, that gather in their ranks the engineers of the Greek merchant fleet, managed to “freeze” the navigation throughout the country.
The massive strike was commented by the Financial Times and other international media while in Greece the media purposely diminished it. However, the strike is a successful and new start of assertions from workers that comprehend that they have nothing to expect from a rotten system that exploits them and from the political parties and organs that support it. The hope is in class struggle and unity. People should not pay for the crisis. Now mass liberation of the people from the ideology and the parties of the plutocracy and the EU!
International Relations Committee
of the CC of KNE
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