Millions strike against Greek government

Teachers demonstrating through the streets of Nea Smirni, Athens. Banner reads ‘When injustice becomes law, resistance is a duty’
Teachers demonstrating through the streets of Nea Smirni, Athens. Banner reads ‘When injustice becomes law, resistance is a duty’

GREEK public sector workers launched a decisive 48-hour national strike against mass sackings and closures of hospitals, schools and social services yesterday.

The strike, called by the ADEDY public sector workers trade unions federation, is a great boost to the indefinite national state secondary schools teachers’ strike which started on Monday with phenomenal participation of between 80-100 per cent.

On Tuesday, teachers held local mobilisations which included pickets at schools, local demonstrations and the occupation of the Educational Directorates, while in the evening hundreds of teachers on their motorbikes paraded through the centres of all major Greek cities.

In Athens they protested outside the building of the Mega TV channel which has been transmitting what the teachers call ‘Goebbels-like lies’ against their strike.

The motorbike parade ended up at the State TV and Radio Station ERT which has been occupied for the last three months against closure and the sacking of all 2,700 journalists, technicians and staff.

On Tuesday morning, sack-threatened Pensions Fund workers picketed the Labour Ministry demanding a meeting with the Minister. In response, riot police attacked them with tear gas. Two government buildings of the Commerce Ministry were occupied. All university and college lecturers and staff are participating in the ADEDY strike. University rectors oppose plans to sack 1,700 administrative staff and demand recruitment of 2,000 instead.

The Greek government is also demanding that universities further cut their budgets by 15 per cent.

Hundreds of ship-building and other industrial workers joined a protest on Tuesday afternoon against last week’s fascist group attack on Greek Communist Party members.

But on the same night a 34-year-old man well known for his anti-fascist activity was stabbed to death outside a café in Amfiali, a working class area of Athens. Police said that they have arrested a 55-year-old man.

Secondary school teachers’ trade union branches are to hold general meetings this morning to review the situation and decide next week’s action.

Last week, teachers voted in a special conference by 370 for and 18 against for indefinite strike in the form of weekly ‘rolling’ strikes.

The Revolutionary Marxist League, Greek Section of the ICFI, has issued a statement demanding an indefinite political general strike.