e k i r t S l a r e Gen
issue No 4 September 2012
elworkers from the 9month strike of the ste s ion us ncl Co • ece Gre in s gle al activity • Workers´strug s´trade unionism • Internation yer plo em of e rol The • nts me • Political develop
s e c fi i r c a s e r o No m for the capitalists! Since the very beginning of the economical crisis and the attack that was unleashed against workers and other social strata by the government, the European Union, the capitalists and the Troika, one basic truth has been underlined by the All Workers Militant Front (PAME) in every possible way and at every given occasion: The austerity measures, the memorandums and its contents are not being imposed on the people because of the debt, the deficits or even more so for the “salvation of the nation” as the government and its puppets want to present it, but to create an even cheaper working class, to lead the people to bankruptcy so that the Capital can be saved. Today, this truth is dawning on even more and more people. Proof of this being the measures the government is preparing to announce concerning employment and insurance issues. These measures are aiming to compress the workforce to the lowest possible level, especially the young workers. Their goal is to create a workforce which will be flexible and adaptable to the needs of the businesses and to demolish, even the minimum legislative protection. The measures that are about to be taken, alongside the ones that have already been forced on the people, have transformed the labour market into a jungle where justice is determined by the law of the strongest, in other words the law of the Capital. Each and every day the
clock is ticking backwards for the people. They are not only taking back rights -each one, conquered through our constant struggles and blood that has been shed-, but they are taking us back to the era of the whip, to nonstop work from sunrise to sunset. In the year 2012 they’re discussing a 13hour work day and a life of slavery. The supposed “wind of change”
blowing throughout Europe has brought with it a package of the toughest austerity measures yet. These measures are LEATHAL! Faced with this attack, the class oriented labour movement is being presented with new and increased duties that it will have to confront in the immediate future due to the developments in the EU and in Greece. The class oriented
labour movement calls upon the working class to rise up and not to succumb.
These are not the last measures to be taken Up until the EU summit and despite the Prime Minister’s phony promises, the tri-party government has already decided to enforce: a) The next package of measures that will “rebalance the deficit” in the 2012 budget which is estimated at 2.5 – 3 billion and will be included in the 2013 budget. b) Additional
cuts of at least 2 billion that will be launched in order to cover the variations of the “mid-term plan”. c) New tax measures worth 3 billion that do not even include cuts in tax exemptions. The Minister of Labour keeping precisely that in mind has started a fraud-dialogue. While the Greek General Confederation of Labour (GSEE) backs him up, seeking to put into effect a term of the second memorandum which will essentially abolish the National General Collective Labour Agreement. The new minimum wage will be determined unilaterally by the government and not by collective bargaining from now on.
The “economic growth” that the social partners of the coalition government are preaching depends on an even greater reduction of the price of labour force, more drastic cuts of social expenditure in order to secure even more state funding for subsidies for the Capital and the withdrawal of the state from social services to render them to monopoly groups. For the people this “economic growth” means lower incomes, nonexistent rights, more taxes, higher tariffs on key benefits and the dismantling of social structures. It is in the best interest of the workers to realize that the measures being forced onto them are neither the last ones to come nor or they temporary. A succession of measures will follow and even in the occurrence of a “recovery” it will be an anemic one and will find the people with torn down wages and rights. The unions, the workers, the self-employed, the poor farmers, the youth and women have to take upon themselves the responsibility of organizing the struggle utilizing all forms of resistance or else there will be no end to the attack. Decisions to reject the measures must be made. The task of organizing in the workplace, in the mass organizations of the self-employed, of women and the youth is a key issue in the confrontation with the monopolies. They must be at the forefront of the struggle. With an organized struggle, the plutocracy’s parties and the EU can be put aside. Things must be clarified with the leadership of the GSEE and theADEDY, the governmental and employer’s trade unionism, with the SYRIZA forces who are proposing management tactics that will lead the working class to results which will only benefit the monopolies.
We, the people will finally have to march to war and win the war. And the war will be the people on the one side and the monopolies on the other. The workers have to organize in their unions and strengthen PAME, they have to isolate and expose the enemy organizationally and politically. We have
to defend the unity of the working class and its purposes. For a united movement that will be determined to fight against the monopolies and the EU. For a united movement that will lead us to a different path of development that will be based on our contemporary needs, that will create ruptures and will be able to overthrow the dominion of the monopolies and will eventually abolish exploitation of man by man. From that point of view we have to define where the true dividing line is going to be. Will the line be drawn at class struggle or will it be at compromise with the Capital? This is the real problem. The problem is that the labour movement has to rid itself of the weights of class collaboration and submission. That is why it is necessary to change the negative analogies in the trade union movement. It is a condition so that the movement can be able to answer to the antilabour policies and to give winning struggles with prospect. Workers do not have to and must not follow the leaders of GSEE and ADEDY and of those unions that not only agree with the measures the governments and the Capital are taking and not only are they the first ones to help implement these measures but they are the ones who work side by side with our slaughterers to assist them in structuring these measures. Of course another important step the working class has to take is to organize in the workplace and in the industry. Workers have to strengthen collective action and must participate in all its procedures. The strengthening of our unions is essential.
We organize the struggle with our main slogans being No more sacrifices for the Capitalists. No more taxes Abolish Memorandums, Loan-Treaties, Anti-worker laws When alone, no one can deal with the brutality we’re experiencing, poverty, unemployment, excruciating taxation. Our answer is organized resistance and refusal to pay the new taxes. We have nothing to gain, we have no common interests with the Capital, the EU, the parties of the plutocracy. The discussion with our colleagues must begin, every employee must be informed, the measures must be condemned, forms of resistance must be decided in each and every workplace, industry and neighborhood. Preparation must start immediately for the PANHELLENIC GENERAL STRIKE ON SEPTEMBER 26th.
Strike in Hotel Sofitel
against the antilabour attack Trade Union of Hotel – Cazino Parnitha, Athens: 1 month of strike The 1200 workers of the Hotel – Cazino in Parnitha went on a strike almost for one month demanding for the signing of a collecting agreement without any reductions of salaries, withdrawal of dissmissals, total assurance of the workers’ rights. The strike took place despite the efforts and the mechanisms the owners used (lock out, justice system etc).
Workers in recycling factory, Heraklion, Crete. After 118 days of strike, we, the workers of the recycling factory, can say we have won the fight! After 118 days of strike, under our pressure and the pressure of the society, the company was forced to negotiate with us and accept our main demand: that the salaries would return to the level they were in January 2012, before the reduction of 22%. We now pass the gates of the factory proud because we have managed to assure our main demand, to maintain our salaries at the same level. We return to work proud because we proved in practice the slogan “Without us no gear can turn”.
Phone Marketing Call Center, Athens : 100 days of strike In this company, the workers that are mostly women, refused to accept the employers’ demand to work only once a week, with corresponding wage cuts. With the support of the Trade Union on telecommunications (SETIP), after general assemblies where they discuss and co-decide the way and
Workers in Tourism
Trade Union of Tourism Strikes against reductions of salaries 24 hour strike on 7th June, 2 days strike on 10th and 11th July and 24hour strike September 12th “The sectoral Trade Union and the unions in each company in Attiki, put in life our commitment. ● We don’t give up the fight ● We don’t accept reduction of salaries and rights ● We don’t allow anyone to sign in our behalf any collective agreement that includes reductions. Colleagues,let’s fight the fear, we should get organized in our syndicates, trust those who did not betray our expectations. Nothing is lost as long we condemn those who are responsible for today’s situation. Those that sign collective agreements that include reductions should be undesirable in the workplaces. Not one worker should vote for them at the syndicate elections. Even those who support them should be isolated so that they stop poisoning the workers’ consciousness, stop saying that “nothing can change” and that “obeying to the employers’ demands is a responsible attitude.
Immigrants Secretariat of PAME Protest for the daily cruel racist attacks against immigrants and refugees A protest outside the headquarters of the General Police Directorate of Attica took place on 1st June by PAME’s Immigrants Secretariat and the class – oriented TUs, for the daily cruel racist attacks against immigrants and refugees. The complaint stated: “Every day, we become witnesses of attacks of organized teams or single persons against immigrants of any age and origin.
forms their struggle will take, they went on a strike for over 100 days! Their struggle for full time employment, for assurance of their rights and no reduction of their salaries, forced the employers to change their attitude. In their announcement, the workers say: “Within 85 days we discovered our power, which is no other that organization. We are all united, like a fist and that is why they cannot bend us. We know that the previous period we were alone, and thus the employers could bend us, manipulate us – No More!”
Most of the incidents are caused by forces of the fascist “Golden Dawn” (they confess that themselves). These attacks are often even against workers that are just waiting for the bus to go to their job, or underage students, whose only sin is their skin color and religion. The police turns a blind eye to all these even when the incidents take place in front of their own eyes! They cover the racist phenomena with the excuse of the laws and the orders they have got from the governments that support the EU. We require the protection of their mental and physical integrity. They are human beings and all of their human rights must be protected.
THE IMMIGRANTS AND THE REFUGEES ARE A PART OF THE WORKING CLASS THAT EXPERIENCES THE DEEPEST EXPLOITATION. THEIR AGONY FOR SURVIVAL HAS TO TURN INTO STRUGGLE FOR THE RIGHTS OF OUR CLASS”.
Line of unemployed
On the propaganda against PAME and against the workers’ struggles. We have to reveal their fake arguments A filthy propaganda has been promoted concerning PAME, and the other social organizations that supported the struggle of the steel workers. They say that this struggle and attitude leads to the shutting down of factories, that PAME wants people to be impoverished etc. We have to smash this kind of propaganda. Who was it that closed down the shipyards? Who was it that closed down the textile factories? Who was it that closed down the sugar factories? Who is it that has 4000 enterprises in the Balcans? Who is that sent hundreds of billions euros in Switzerland etc?
Who was it that shrunk dramatically the agricultural production? It was the monopolies, the EU and the parties that support them. These are that gave birth to the crisis. These are to blame for the misfortune of the country. The monopolies were grown and brought the crisis. They razed the rights and life of the workers, the self-mployed, of the poor farmers of women and youth. They are destroying production capabilities, even whole sectors are destroyed. They bring no potentials for the popular strata. These forces’ priority is the way out of the crisis in favour of the capital’s profits.
PRIVATIZATIONS 12day strike of the workers of the Agricultural Bank(ATE) Privatizations are key element of the antipeople’s policies all over the world. Before and now, they only serve one thing, to give away to the capitalists with their concentrated capitals, sectors like ENERGY, TRANSPORTATS, TELECOMMUNICATIONS etc that belonged to the state, as new areas of profitability. The government, after the announcement of the sale of the
industries of Greek Industry of Sugar, Greek Tobacco and Greek Dairy they moved on to the privatization of the Agricultural Bank. This development means: 1. Lay offs and new, worse working relations for the 5,500 workers of the bank, so as the employer to have profit and be competitive 2. Even greater deterioration of the situation for the poor farmers. Hundreds of thousands poor farmers are in danger of loosing immediately their mortgaged properties to the ATE Bank. Seizures and auctions will come as a storm. 3. Deterioration of the living standards of the people since the prices of the goods, the quality and the quantity of the food of the people will depend from the market and the terms of profitability of the capitalists. Also ATE bank own a great part of in debt households that no longer can pay their loans Against this development the workers, with the vanguard activity of the forces of PAME expressed their militant will. They overcame the trade union leadership that was stalling and undermined their will for struggle. They took initiatives; they imposed the organization of General Assemblies that lead to a 12day strike.
n o ti c a r u o n e th g n e tr s e W
Escalation of the attack to increase the exploitation of the working class
In Greece, the profound capitalist crisis of the excessive accumulation of capital; which continues for the fourth year, combined with the crisis in other EU Member States, causes the intense aggression of monopolies and their political representatives and is manifested in the overall antipeoples’ strategy, part of which are also the «Memoranda» signed between the Greek governments, the EU, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Every working class and popular family faces or/ and lives under the threat of mass poverty and deprivation, relative and absolute. Workers, popular strata are driven to despair. Taxes are imposed taxes, which cannot be paid by the people and the health of workers is threatened because of the anti-peoples policies, due to which the popular strata cannot afford even medication, hospitals are shut down, etc. The unemployed, young couples, these who work under flexible working relations, these who make a living being paid with the lowest wages, salaries and pensions, thousands of self-employed and small and medium farmers are in dire straits. Thousands of others will face the same fate in the near future. The deep crisis in combination with monopolies existing in various sectors leads to the shut down of a significant part of small shops. Moreover, the inability to pay back debts to banks creates huge debts and deadlocks for thousands of families of the self- employed. Already thousands have been driven to unemployment.
The EU’s and the government’s policies still leaves farmers to be exploited, to suffer the exploitation of the industrialists, banks, monopolies. These lead to the concentration of land and agricultural production in a few hands The deepening of the capitalist economic crisis and the intensification of the attack of the capital increase class exploitation and with it the inequality the working women face. Thousands of working women work without health insurance. The effects of anti-labour ongoing overthrows have affected women tragically. Many self-employed up to now women have been looking for a job, after the shut down of their shops and are in a painful condition. Moreover all the barbaric measures on labour and education have led large parts of the working youth in deadlocks. Tomorrow the situation for everyone will be even worse if a wave of resistance and organized struggle to stop this ongoing wild attack is not raised. We live at the same time at an era where there are policies that promise a way out of the crisis. The government prepares a new set of harsh measures supposedly for the way out of the crisis. These are measures that strengthen the dictatorship of the capital. Accomplices for this course are all the political and trade union forces aligned to the goals of proofing the competitiveness of the capital and of correcting the EU.
The ruling class and its government with the support of the EU escalates the antipeoples’ attack with the objectives: 1. to promote pre-decided capitalist restructuring aimed at the shielding of the competitiveness of monopolies,
ensuring cheaper workforce. Namely to help monopolies, domestic or foreign, become more powerful by crashing the popular strata. 2. to manage the crisis and the government debt in Greece against the popular family. 3. to eliminate large masses of self- employed people from the industry, trade and services sector. 4. to privatize the sectors of energy, water, ports, airports and land. Even to deliver to the private capital state sectors related to social needs. These directives permeate all fundamental axis of the government policy. They affect all the sectors, they affect self-employed and employees in both public and private sector. The anti-peoples attack is ongoing, scalable and with no ending. Monopolies in all Member States of the EU require cheaper labour and new areas for investing the overaccumulated capital with satisfactory profitability. Our assessment is that the poverty of the people and its bankruptcy is not going to save the Greek capitalist economy from bankruptcy and going downhill. Either small businesses or even large firms will not be saved, no matter how much they will cut down on wages. Only monopolies will remain. Life has confirmed once again that productivity growth in capitalism under conditions of deep crisis is accompanied with an increase in the degree of exploitation of the working class. This conclusion is not only about the intensification of work or the deterioration of labour relations. It is also about the complete crushing of the workers’ rights. The labour movement must set itself far away from the vision of competitive Greece and respectively competitive EU. This is a fundamental prerequisite for the counterattack of the labour movement.
Especially now, in times of crisis and intensification of inter-imperialist contradictions within the EU, the opportunist proposals for a capitalism with a fair income redistribution seem funny. There can be no pro-peoples way out of the crisis in this system, since this system becomes more and more brutal and reactionary. It can neither be humanized nor corrected. Under a front against monopolies, the heart of the capitalist system, the parties that serve monopolies and the EU, PAME calls to fight for the overthrow of the anti-popular
policies; PAME calls to fight for survival, to fight for radical changes in terms of economy and power. Disengagement from the EU, unilateral cancellation of debt.
A Movement of denial of payments, disobedience against anti-peoples laws and measures. The monopolies must pay We are in one of the most critical periods for the struggle of the people’s movement. The main feature is the huge operation to make this movement, developed against the anti-peoples measures and policies, regress and capitulate; to trap the people’s radicalism in new fears and illusions; to make the people’s consciousness more conservative politically. The strategy which promises better days for workers and the unemployed through a so-called leftist or progressive government under the conditions of keeping the power of capital and capitalist ownership of the means of production is dangerous. This strategy has been tested, has gone bankrupt. This strategy hides the key issue. It hides the fact that as long as power and the wealth produced by the working class is in the hands of its exploiters, as long as the capitalist anarchy dominates and there is the motive for profit motive, the problem of unemployment, which escalates uncontrollably, cannot be solved. The current situation is not bound to our destiny. It is the result of the capitalist way of development. The measures taken are not temporary, but they are here to stay.
The modern popular needs cannot be made since capitalism is utterly reactionary and the difficulties in the reproduction of the capital, the rivalries of the monopolies for dominance, strengthen the attack to reduce the price of the labour force and increase the degree of exploitation. Even the smallest of achievements requires very tough clashes with the forces of capital. The daily struggle (for the right to work, the protection of the unemployed, for the salaries and pensions, for free health care, welfare, education, against imperialist wars, for the release from the imperialist associations, for people’s sovereignty and democratic rights) is directly, intimately connected with the struggle for the overthrow of capitalism. It is a crucial issue is to strengthen the spirit of solidarity. Each struggle should become an issue of all sectors, of the alliance. Not only with typical announcements, but with broad information and discussion everywhere. Each struggle should be known in a wider area. The solidarity with the striking steelworkers is proof of such solidarity Our goal is PAME (All Workers’ Militant Front), with all its forces, Unions, Struggle Committees, Regional Trade Union Centres, Federations, PASEVE (Panhellenic Antitrust Coalition of Tradesmen- Craftsmen), PASY (All Farmers’ Militant Front), MAS (Students’ Militant Front),
OGE (Federation of Women in Greece), with the forces and organisations that rally within their ranks, in close cooperation based on common demands but with each one of them taking into consideration the specific problems of the sector covered, to get ahead and lead a mass, militant movement of people’s uprising and organised struggle with all those who suffer, who are unable to cope with and meet the basic needs of the family. In every sector, neighbourhood, in every town and village we create everywhere coalitions and concentrations of militant forces. We strengthen our common action against the plans of the capital and the European Union to burden the popular strata with the effects of the capitalist crisis. Today there is no other force that can inspire employees to strength, courage and perspective, than the social alliance. To be able not accept the policies that the working people who produce the wealth, must be satisfied with some crumbs and the charity of the powerful. Today, under better conditions, the workers can understand the historical limits of the capitalist system, the consequences of the anarchy of the capitalist market. They can make full use of the tendency of political instability, the cracks in the political system of the dictatorship of the monopolies created. They can organise αντίπαλο δέος ???the people’s alliance, the organised class oriented movement. They can strengthen the Struggle which has as its aim and vision to bring workers in power and to transform the wealth they produce and exists in Greece into people’s property. There is no other alternative. The producers of all the wealth with their subversive action must make the people owners of the centralized means of production; used to serve planned production for the people’s prosperity. Trade union leaders involved in the attack against working class families do enormous damage because on the one hand they support the interests of the capital and on the other they spread illusions, compromise and put the workers at ease.
Steel Workers The struggle of the steel workers
present and the future
The struggle of the steel workers brought in today’s conditions the valuable lessons of the labour movement history, which is full of sacrifices. Each time of their struggle was a significant lesson for the working class in order to draw useful conclusions for the class struggle. It taught heroism and self-sacrifice! The strikers steel workers had to face not only Manesis (the owner of the Greek steel industry), but also all their exploiters, the political personnel of the ruling class, the repression mechanisms. They showed exemplary strength and faith to the right of the working class, all this period, against gods and demons. It taught the character of class solidarity! It made the seemingly impossible, possible because it was achieved workers to strike for nine months in order for their colleagues who were dismissed to return to their job. It showed that workers’ solidarity is an irreplaceable weapon of the class confrontation against capital. Comradeship was cultivated against the common enemy; life itself tested the slogan “one for all and all for one”. It highlighted the content of the multiform conflict! This struggle was developed against the multiform attack of the employer, against fatalism and compromise. It helped to discern the difficulties that has the path of insubordination and disobedience against the laws that make people’s lives hell. The slogan “all Greece must become like the steel industry” shook several times the strike demonstrations against the brutal policy. It highlighted the need of the organized struggle! The role of the trade union as the center of the struggle was highlighted, away from the grasp of the employers and the
governmental trade unionism. Through initiatives and the formation of committees of support and organization of the struggle. Through decisions of the general assemblies and open procedures. It manifested the unstopping struggle that exists between capital and labour. The ones who are the real producers of wealth were revealed; the slogan “worker you can be without bosses” took life. It revealed the life which is hidden behind the hell of the chimneys, the parasitic life of industrialists with their villas and yachts acquired by the sweat, blood and lives of workers. The struggle of the steel workers suspended, even temporarily, the tactics and the broader plans of industrialists. The strike began at the time when the directives of job rotation and of the most generalized attack were ready, waiting in the drawers of several factories. It verified that only the line of class struggle, the conflict with the employers, government and the imperialist organizations can give such struggles. In contrast to the line of social dialogues, social partnership, the line of compromise and of the supposed realism, that not only does not break the aggressiveness of the capitalists, but on the contrary turned the trade unions into their puppets. To this direction, the struggle of the steel workers was valuable because it helped to strengthen the belief of the need to throw away from the workers the chains of the governmental and employers’ trade unionism. The struggle of the steel workers challenged and opposed to the so-called realism of the governmental and employers’ trade unionism. In these circumstances, this struggle pushed employers’ Federations and Regional Trade Union Centres to go on strikes and work stoppages.
The General Assembly of the Trade Union of workers in the steel industry considered that now is the right time to complete this great strike. The conditions created - the immediate intervention of the government led by the Prime Minister and the choice to break the struggle in order to send a strong message to the whole working class and to those who struggle, the permanent presence of the repressive mechanism etc – imposed the suspension of the struggle to prevent its degeneration, as the employers and the state that serves them, aimed. The trade union can face the new situation united, organized and collectively in the same way it faced dozens of difficult and crucial times all this period.
The steadfast position of the strikers steel workers forced the class enemy to leave aside the appearances and use their last weapon, the repressive mechanisms. Thus, this struggle also revealed the brutal face of the “salvation” co-government to the Greek people. It showed to the workers that as long as they will not subjugated to those plans that want them impoverished for the benefit of the profits of the plutocracy, the bigger the attack will be launched against them with the most barbaric and brutal way. So, this struggle makes us to consider the need for rapid development of a powerful labour movement which will be ready to face the multiform attack of the capital – E.U. and will be capable to crush every repressive mechanism.
.the steelworkers “dress” the riot police with
The steel workers that gave this struggle and all of us who supported it, we are proud Their raised fists for nine months Will be the power for the struggles that will follow.
The workers of the steel industry are already winners. The victory of the struggle of the steel workers is reflected on the tremendous legacy that leaves for the future. The seed planted will grow in the “new steel industries” that will spring up in the near future, as a new storm of anti-labour measures is coming. Some people who wore the mask of the fighter in some cases and in some other played the role of a firefighter against the radicalization of the labour consciousness, looking for flaws in the strike struggle all this period, trying to isolate and stain the trade union of workers in the steel industry, they are now trying to pretend the “after-Christ prophets”. But the struggles are not a clock, ticking, knowing what will happen in the next second. The struggle of the steel workers showed that when the working class decides to resist, no gear turns. When the furnace of the factory remains cold, every Manesis is “nothing”. This struggle highlighted the inexhaustible and hidden power that workers have if they believe in their power and decide to fight. Life itself has, already, marked this struggle in the lightened, hard class clashes, a small brick in the long lasting struggle of the workers against their exploiters.
May Day demonstration of PAME at HALIV
On October 3rd
International Action Day of WFTU
South Africa In early June took place the congress of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, which PAME greeted with a delegation.
PAME’s participation on Rome demonstration During a period that the deep crisis affects almost all countries of the EU and the competiveness of the capitalist states escalates dangerously, for the control of new markets, the forming of new borders, for gas and oil and energy routes. The WFTU, for 4th consecutive year, organises an International Action Day. This year Action Day will take place on October 3rd, under WFTU slogan: “Food, clean water, medicines, books, housing for all”. In all continents will take place strikes, demonstrations, protests and meetings outside parliaments, people’s courts outside the gates of multinational industries etc. WFTU chose this issue for the Action Day, because in the 21st century people still die from hunger, thirst and are homeless. Millions of students do not have books, sick people do not have medicine. At the same time multinational companies and monopolies exploit the resources of the countries. PAME will take part in the Action Day with activities in our country into multinational industries of the food and medicine
sector. Also, we will take part in to the demonstration of WFTU outside the headquarters of FAO in Rome, on October 3rd with a delegation of trade unionists of PAME.
The class, labour movement of Greece supports your struggles for the protection of the rights and the lives of the workers of Italy.”
Basque Country PAME took part in the congress of the trade union LAB of the Bawque Country
In the context of the International Action Day for the liberation of all political prisoners, in the Israeli prisons, called by WFTU, PAME realised a massive and militant protest outside the Israeli embassy in Athens. The petition that was delivered demanded the immediate release of the prisoners, return of the refugees, immediate stop of the Israeli occupation, ending of the settlements and withdrawal of all settlers from the occupied land, demolish of the Wall, viable and dominant Palestine state in the 1967 borders.
2nd congress of working youth of WFTU, in Cuba PAME took part with a delegation to the 2nd congress of young trade unionists that took place in Havana, Cuba. The youth secretariat of PAME, with the French delegation took up the representation of Europe in Youth Secretariat of WFTU
Italy PAME sent solidarity messages to the workers of Italy and the Trade Union USB before the strike of June 22, as well as to express its support to the victims of the recent earthquakes. The letter said: “Dear comrades of USB ... We know that although earthquakes are natural phenomena, their consequences are deeply classist. In Italy, also, those that suffered the most were poor areas and work places, where security measures are considered a luxury. The protection of human life, in capitalism, the earthquakeproofing schools, public buildings and work places is a “cost” for the governments of the capitalists.
Workers Unity Committees of the State of Spain PAME took part in the 1st national meeting of the Workers Unity Committees of the State of Spain.
Coal miners strike in Spanish state trade union executives of PAME realized a protest ot the embassy of Spain in Athens, were they denounced the attack of the police forces against the strikers and expressed theirs solidarity to the coal miners strike. They submitted the following petition: To the struggling miners of the State of Spain Dear colleagues, PAME-All Workers Militant Front-, that represents the class oriented labour movement of Greece, expresses its support to your struggle for your jobs and the protection of your sector.
In order to overcome the capitalist crisis, the governments of each country alongside the EU, they call workers to accept the sacrificing of their rights and their jobs. For this cause they use countries’ debts. Debts created through financial support and tax exemptions of the big capital. While they support that there are no money for workers’ needs in Health, Education and Jobs with full rights, during only one night they find hundreds of billions for the banks and the capitalists. Workers have nothing good to expect from the political and trade union staff of the bourgeois class. The path you choose, the path of struggle to defend your rights and your jobs is the only choice for workers. To this just struggle, the class labour movement of Greece is on your side.
Portugal Delegation of PAME was present at the congress of the Federation of pulic service employees of Portugal
“...The path you choose, the path of struggle to defend your rights and your jobs is the only choice for workers...”
In spite of their conflicts on TV the parties of ND and PASOK, as well as SYRIZA, they cooperate “in harmony” at the GSEE, in the trade unions and the sectors. Their forces in the trade union movement co-sign dozens traitorous collective contracts-such as in the sectors of commerce, tourism, food services, hospitals and dozens industries-with wage cuts of 20-40%. They keep their mouths shut for the lay offs, part time employment and work of 1-2 days a week. Using the argument of the “lesser evil” they condemn workers to greater poverty. They impose the memorandums in
the work places.
Employers’ trade unionism of all shapes and colours must get thrown away from workers. The correlation within the trade unions must change fast and decisively and must strengthen the class oriented forces, PAME. WHOEVER places the capitals’ profits and the European Union, over the survival of the people, no matter what “colour he wears” he is an enemy of the people.
The recent elections did not solve the people’s problems; on the contrary they made the situation even more difficult. The forces of the parties that have formed the new government, and also the forces of SYRIZA within the trade union movement are competing on who will be proven more helpful for the employers, by, literally, selling out whatever labour rights are left. Here we will mention only a few examples.
Hospitals The leadership of the Federation of Unions in Hospitals of Greece (formed by socialdemocrats-neoliberals and “independents”) agreed, secretly, in a sectoral Collective Agreement that destroys wages and rights, without even calling a meeting of all the members of its council. The workers responded by dismissing this leadership and organising struggles so as to stop the imposition of this Collective Contract.
Private sector employees A sectoral collective contract was signed between the Employers’ Union and the Federation of Private Sector Employees. The employers and the trade union forces that are supported by PASOK-ND and SYRIZA, who have the leadership of the Federation, condemned the employees with wage cuts of 6.8%, making survival for the thousands of the workers in private sector even more difficult to impossible.
Tourism The leadership of the Federation of Workers in Tourism (supported by PASOK-ND) and the Union of Hotel Owners finalised the slaughtering of wages of the thousands of the workers in Hotels, by signing a disgraceful agreement, which they call Collective Contract, and which imposes wage cuts of 15% in the minimum wage for all professions. The cuts
is even bigger in reality, as the benefits that remain, will be formed based on the new minimum wage.
Employers’ trade unionism Imposes the memorandums in the work places
Banks The leadership of the Union of employees of National Bank signed a 3year Collective Contract, which imposes wage cuts of 4-11% (average cuts of 7%) for the 90% of the employees. The contract was signed by the trade union forces supported by PASOK and ND. Those trade unionists “ignored” the proposal of the forces of PAME that called the workers to decide on collective agreement after a general assembly. Even worse, before signing the Contract, they stepped over the will of previous general assembly of the workers, who had clearly stated NO to any wage cuts and demanded for a new meeting to organise their struggle.
Public Electricity Company-DEH The leadership of the GENOP-DEH (trade union of workers in Public Electricity Company) that is supported by PASOK, ND and SYRIZA, signed a document as a Collective Contract, which had prepared with the board of the DEH. With this document the leadership of GENOP-DEH accepts the imposition of antilabour laws, implemented by the memorandums. They agree on
wage cuts of 35% and the abolition of steady jobs that allows the employers to lay off as they see fit.
Against these tactics of the governmental and employers’ trade unionism, the position of PAME is clear: “No trade union, federation or confederation must not sign over the “guillotine” that is set. No worker should bend over the blackmails of the government and the employers. No honest trade unionist to sign the butchering of the life of his class. We must reject the argument of the monopolies that workers and their rights are “costs” and they should be butchered. Retreat and submission to save the profits of the multinationals and the outdated and rotten capitalist system, is not the only way. We must reject the illusion that capitalism can be more humane if we change its management. That if the profitability of the capitalists grow, workers will save themselves from unemployment and from the attack against their rights. We call the working class to be the vanguard and fight for its whole life through organisation, counterattack. And to demand: No wage cuts. Withdrawal of all the already imposed wage cuts. Struggle for decent wages and pensions, with raises, so as to fulfil all the needs of the workers.”
It is demanded the change of correlation of forces, condemnation of the forces of the governmental and employers’ trade unionism and the strengthening of the class oriented forces in Greece and internationally.
Workers Counter attack: Published by Secretariat of International Relations of PAME All workers Militant Front (PAME) I Member of the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) address: 5b, Ag. Filotheis str., 10556, Athens, Greece t: (+30) 210 3301842, 210 3301847, 210 3833786 f: (+30) 210 3802864 I firstname.lastname@example.org