GREEK GENERAL STRIKE – for workers’ rights against privatisation

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A massive strike wave is taking place against the Greek right-wing government this week as workers are staging national strikes, including a general strike this Wednesday 14 December.

All the trade unions in the public enterprises and industries staged a very successful 5-hour stoppage and rally yesterday and are organising for the 48-hour national strike on Wednesday and Thursday

Rallies are to be held in all Greek cities and towns.

The strikes have been called by the GSEE (Greek TUC) and ADEDY (Greek public section workers federation) against a government Bill which takes away hard-won workers’ rights and allows for mass sackings and privatisations in the state owned enterprises (electricity, communications, hospitals, public transport, water, oil refineries, ports and others).

The Bill scraps free-collective bargaining, imposes ‘flexible’ working hours and cuts wages and pensions.

It is a government strategic attack into the heart of the Greek working class.

The government of Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis intends to destroy workers’ rights and the trade unions in the most solidly organised section of the Greek working class.

The Greek Electricity Board is the top enterprise in Greece and one of the top in the whole of the Balkans with over 100,000 workers in power stations, coal mines, offices and other plants.

Wednesday’s 24-hour general strike is expected to be one of the biggest in the post II World War period.

In April 2001 some half a million workers took over the centre of the capital Athens in protest against a Bill slashing their pensions.

The leaders of the GSEE and ADEDY, supporters of the social-democrats of the PASOK party, are to hold a central Athens rally on Wednesday with workers from all over Greece.

The trade union bureaucracy though have targeted for criticism just a section of the proposed government Bill.

The Greek Communist Party (CPG) have demanded the withdrawal of the Bill and they are organising a separate rally and demonstration in Athens as well as their own rallies in all Greek cities.