Greece Set For Massive General Strike

Water authority workers at the GSEE rally in Athens during last month’s general strike on May 3rd
Water authority workers at the GSEE rally in Athens during last month’s general strike on May 3rd

GREEK trade unions are set for a huge one-day general strike today against the government’s ‘Double Bill’ which destroys the state pension system, allows for mass sackings and imposes a 470 euro monthly wage for youth to be employed, without rights, in the place of those older workers made redundant.

The strike is called by the GSEE (Greek TUC) and ADEDY (public sector trade unions federation); a rally and march through the Athens city centre has been organised.

The Greek Communist Party’s trade union sector PAME are organising their own separate rally outside the Vouli (Greek parliament).

Since last Sunday night electricity power workers have occupied the Athens central offices of the State Electricity Board (DEH) hanging a large banner on the building’s façade stating ‘we are not for sale’, a clear and determined message against sackings and privatisation.

On Monday evening they were set to stage a rally and march to the Ministry for Employment.

Nearby workers are staging an occupation of the central offices of the state Organisation for Social Security (IKA) which provides pensions, social security and medical treatment – through state hospitals – to workers.

All the main and powerful trade unions have declared their participation in the general strike – the fifth since March – with the noted exception of the Seafarers’ Trade Unions Federation (PNO).

But the two most important seafarers’ national trade unions PEMEN (crews) and Stephenson (engine room) are to participate in the strike blocking the main Greek port of Piraeus and all other Greek ports. Last Wednesday’s seafarers’ strike was declared illegal by a one-judge Piraeus court.

Speaking at a radio station on Monday morning the President of the Piraeus Trades Council, Nikos Xourafes, stated that, ‘no ships will sail tomorrow from Piraeus’; he added, ‘if the government decides to attack tomorrow’s strike, they will be responsible for the consequences.’

The Greek capitalist media has been calling, in hysterical terms, on the government to order the Port Police and the Greek Navy Commandos to attack strikers blocking the ferries, in the interests of tourism.

The Revolutionary Marxist League – the Greek section of the International Committee of the Fourth International – has been campaigning for turning today’s one-day general strike into an indefinite political general strike for the abolition of the austerity measures Accord, imposed by the IMF-European Commission, and for the overthrow of the Papandreou capitalist government.