Vodafone workers win their strike

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THE President of the Greek Vodafone workers’ trade union Jaklin Gorou said that Tuesday’s national strike, demanding wage rises, the end of flexible working and the signing of a national agreement, was ‘a success’ with over 80 per cent of workers participating in it.

An Athens court had declared as ‘illegal’ the Vodafone workers’ strike, but the strike went ahead with legal cover provided by the Athens Trades Council.

By midday, the Vodafone management said that it will discuss the union’s demands.

At the Athens Vodafone HQ, where over 800 young people are employed, strong picketing foiled the company’s attempt to bring in strikebreakers. There was a strong presence by riot police.

The pickets were visited by the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) parliamentary representative Thanasis Petrakos who expressed SYRIZA’s support to the strikers.

Petrakos was asked by Vodafone workers why the SYRIZA government does not repeal the austerity accord’s legislation. He replied that the government is preparing legislation to do so.

After repeated postponements, the SYRIZA-ANEL coalition government tabled on the Vouli (Greek parliament) its first Bill which aims to ‘meet’ the ‘social and humanitarian crisis’.

The Bill provides free electricity, a rent supplement and food coupons to those ‘in extreme poverty’ as it puts it.

According to the Greek Statistics Authority (ELSTAT) 30 per cent of all Greek families are under or on the verge of the so-called ‘poverty line’.

But the government Bill would not be of any help to the vast majority of these families, estimated at 750,000, only to about 30,000 families with less than 4,800 euros annual income.