October 6, 2011
The workers in the public sector and the former state companies yesterday carried out a first major battle against the savage anti-people policies of the government-troika with their mass, militant and dynamic participation in the strike and PAME’s strike rallies.
Thousands of workers responded to the call addressed by the trade unions of workers in local government, energy, health and welfare, struggle committees in the public sector demonstrated in Athens and in over 30 cities all over Greece and sent the following message: “The plutocracy must pay for the crisis-we do not accept the dismissals, we say no to the “labour reserve” (a measure which aims at dismissals through a year of leave of absence at 60% of the already reduced salary). It should be noted that the new offensive which the government has timetabled provides for the dismissal of 30,000 public sector employees in 2011 and another 200,000 by 2013 via the “labour reserve”, the further reduction of salaries, new cuts in social spending etc.
“Through the “reserve” they will dismiss thousands of health workers and will replace them with a contemporary slave market, with NGOs supported by PASOK and ND, with unpaid workers via the unemployment offices. They will set up a new programme of night-duties in the hospitals dangerous for the people as it cuts back the number of those on night-duty. What is required is a movement which will place obstacles and delay the government measures, will organize the struggle for immediate measures to relieve the popular strata and the unemployed, will be in the forefront of the struggle for the satisfaction of the people’s needs, for the overthrow of the anti-people policies. And at the same time as the daily struggles, it will give a prospect for tomorrow, for a pro-people development with central planning, social ownership of the concentrated means of production, a development which will have as its chief and exclusive aim the needs of the people and not the needs of the monopolies.” Ilias Sioras, President of the union of the workers in the country’s biggest hospital “Evangelismos” and cadre of PAME, stressed amongst other things in his speech.
The presence of the school students was mass and distinct. They are carrying out occupations and “strikes”, fighting for a school with teachers and books (They have not been distributed books yet, over a month after the beginning of the school year) and shouted slogans such as “The schools students are on the streets, Multinationals out of the schools”, “school students-workers one voice and one fist” etc.
The strike on the 5th October constitutes a first answer to the savage assault of the government and the troika against the people which escalated in the previous days with the statements of the government and the troika concerning the abolition of the national collective bargaining agreement (NCBA) and the new dramatic cuts in salaries and pensions in the private sector. The class oriented forces, which are rallied in PAME, reacted immediately and blocked the office of the Minister of Labour., where they clarified that: “the working class will struggle for the defence of the NCBA, as well as of all agreements, in a confrontational manner. The abolition of the NCBA is 100% a demand of industrialists and capital.”
Once again the forces of employer and government-led trade unionism sought to undermine the strike trying either to break the strike or to degenerate it and diminish the militant attitude of the working people. It is characteristic that although they demand “the protection and the reinforcement of the institution of the NCBA” and all the collective agreements in general, they saluted the 11% reduction of salaries provided for by the sectoral agreement that the compromised trade unionists signed in the former state-owned telecommunications company, OTE.
The class-oriented forces continue and escalate their mobilization for the preparation of the major general strike on 19/10.