Greek Port Workers Strike

Greek port workers taking national strike action against SYRIZA’s privatisation plans
Greek port workers taking national strike action against SYRIZA’s privatisation plans

GREEK port workers staged a 100% solid national strike on Thursday against the privatisation plans of the SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left) and ANEL (Independent Greeks) coalition government.

In both Piraeus and Thessaloniki, the two main Greek ports, hundreds of port workers marched in defiant and angry mood. They feel betrayed by the SYRIZA leadership who had promised them during the general election last January that there won’t be any privatisations.

In Piraeus, dockers marched to the Naval Affairs Ministry chanting ‘SYRIZA gave us promises and hopes that proved a lie!’

At the Piraeus strike rally, the President of the OMYLE (Federation of Port Workers’ Trade Unions) Yiorghos Georgakopoulos – a social-democrat – said that ‘We’ve been fighting for over 100 years against privatisation, we won’t give in now’ as he reminded SYRIZA’s current parliamentary deputies and ministers of their promises. ‘We will not accept any form of privatisation of the ports,’ Georgakopoulos emphasised.

The President of the Piraeus Trades Council Nikos Xourafis – a Communist Party leader – said that ‘the whole of Pilaeus must rise up against privatisation, for a fight against monopolies and the European Union for the overthrow of this government’s policies’.

Piraeus port workers engaged in discussion with members of the Trotskyist Revolutionary Marxist League (RML) who sold their paper and distributed their leaflet for a 100% nationalisation of all ports, and for occupations and indefinite strike.

The RML calls for Workers’ Committees of all unions in all ports to fight privatisation. The RML also calls to overthrow the treacherous SYRIZA-ANEL government and install a workers’ and small farmers’ socialist government based on Popular Assemblies (Councils of Action).

Late on Wednesday night, the Greek Vouli (parliament) voted for a government Bill which allows for the re-employment of the sacked women cleaners and school guards. The government has not announced when the cleaners will actually go back to work.