Greek One-Day General Strike

Riot police attack demonstrators on Wednesday in Athens. Photo credit: Marios Lolos
Riot police attack demonstrators on Wednesday in Athens. Photo credit: Marios Lolos

UNDER the umbrella of ‘Social Alliance’, the GSEE (Greek TUC), the ADEDY (public sector workers’ unions federation) and the small and medium sized business associations called a 24-hour strike on Wednesday against austerity.

The seafarers’ trade union PENEN reminded workers that both the GSEE and ADEDY bureaucrats, along with the small business associations, have supported the austerity and privatisations. Workers in the unionised sections at ports, ferries, trains, press and media staged a solid strike, but participation of other sections to the strike was variable.

Scores of trade union branches and some federations condemned the ‘Social Alliance’ and the collaboration of the trade union confederations with business’ associations. PENEN branded the ‘Social Alliance’ a ‘reactionary front’ and stated that their strike has nothing to do with the GSEE and ADEDY’s call.

In Athens the ‘Social Alliance’ rally was a shambles with just a couple of hundred trade union bureaucrats present. Some youths attacked the rally’s banner and tore it up. Only a few trade union branches along with a students’ contingent joined the march from the GSEE to the SEV (Greek Industrialists Association) guarded by police buses and armed riot police. When students threw water bottles and fruit at the police buses, immediately the armed riot squads launched a vicious attack with ‘Made in Israel’ tear gas.

The Tsipras government is preparing yet another so-called ‘Multi-Bill’ which lists all austerity measures demanded by the Troika of EC, IMF and ECB (European Central Bank). At a meeting of the Initiative following Wednesday’s strike and march there was a call for the organisation of an indefinite political general strike.