Civil Conscription Defied!

A section of the rally on Tuesday night in the port of Piraeus
A section of the rally on Tuesday night in the port of Piraeus

THE Greek coalition government ordered the forced ‘civil conscription’ of the seafarers on Tuesday on the sixth day of their 100 per cent solid national strike.

Two weeks ago the Greek government imposed the dictatorial ‘civil conscription’ on the Athens Metro and tram workers who were on strike.

The GSEE (Greek TUC) have called a 24-hour Athens-wide general strike; the Piraeus Trades Council also called a 24-hours strike.

The government said that it will issue ‘conscription papers’ to all seafarers who will then be obliged to go back to work. If they don’t they can be arrested and put to jail.

In a statement the PNO federation of seafarers states that it ‘defies’ the government’s orders. It is the fourth time in the last 10 years that striking seafarers have been conscripted. In all past occasions the PNO had ordered seafarers back to work.

The government action came after the PNO had taken a majority decision to extend the strike for another 48-hours.

Over 1,000 striking seafarers along with many trades unions delegations held a rally in the Piraeus port on Tuesday night. PNO’s general secretary Yiannis Khalas said that they have called off the strike in the provinces to concentrate the struggle on Piraeus and the two other Athens ports from which 90 per cent of all ferries sail.