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Issue #1462      7 July 2010

Huge success of PAME strike

The massive successful strike of PAME on June 29 acquired a much greater significance as it confronted one of the dirtiest operations against the workers’ movement. The 11th strike of the class-oriented forces in a period of six months paralysed factories, workplaces, ports, train stations and airports throughout the country. Picket lines were mounted in front of numerous workplaces.

The port of Piraeus once again became the field of hard class conflict. The class-oriented trade unions of the lower engine crews and merchant maritime engineers and the forces of PAME resisted bravely and guarded their strike. Despite the intimidation exerted by the social democrat government, the ship-owners and the other bourgeois parties, the strike was a huge success. Those forces used the dirtiest methods such as:

  • court decisions that declared the strike illegal
  • warrants of arrest against trade unionists of PAME and heads of the boards of the seamen’s trade unions
  • terrorist bomb attack outside the house of the head of PAME in Thessalonica one day before the strike aiming at the intimidation of the class-oriented forces
  • use of terrorism, repression and chemicals by the repressive forces and the port police corps. Despite that they did not manage to prevent the class oriented forces from entering the port in order to guard the strike. The forces of PAME managed to block the vast majority of the ships. A few ships left the port “with the gun at the head of the crews” though without passengers and vehicles. In fact they sailed aided by the repressive forces that beat and wounded workers. The crews of the ships played a crucial role despite the extortions of the employers.
  • the lies of the bourgeois media that it is PAME and strikers that allegedly damage tourism and not the poverty spread by the government’s measures.

These methods met an immediate response from the class-oriented forces that guarded their strike successfully, with determination and discipline and the tens of thousands of workers who participated in the strike.

In addition, tens of thousands took part in the strike demonstration of PAME in Athens outside parliament as well as in demonstrations held in 60 cities throughout the country, against the destructive measures that increase retirement ages, cut salaries and pensions, deregulate the redundancy threshold, increase taxes, extend flexible labour relations, freeze wages for three years and attack pensions.

“They legitimate the crime against our social security rights, the plundering of a big part of our income,” said Yiannis Tassioulas, president of the Construction Workers’ Trade Union from the platform of the demonstration.. “The plunderers are accusing their victims of resisting the plundering ... . Our answer to their legitimacy is: law is the rights of the workers and not the profits of the capitalists. For that reason they will always have to confront us.”

The strike demonstration of PAME in Athens addressed a class, internationalist appeal to the working class and the militant trade unions in Europe, to the European trade unionists who struggle against the severe anti-workers’ attack calling them to coordinate their struggle and reject the compromised European Trade Union Confederation and all the forces that have disarmed the workers’ movement through the policy of conciliation, of class collaboration and submission.

The experience from these struggles makes the struggle for radical changes even more urgent. The working class produces the wealth and must assert itself. The means of production, the wealth must pass into the hands of the people. This goal can reinforce the struggle.

Communist Party of Greece (KKE)  

Next article – Gulf spill galvanizes activist community

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