TENS of thousands of public sector workers demonstrated in all the Greek major cities last Thursday as part of a 24-hour national strike called by the ADEDY, the federation of public sector trades unions.
The strike was against the austerity measure policies of the government of Prime Minister Yiorghos Papandreou. In a statement, ADEDY announced that participation in the strike reached 67 per cent, which is ‘a massive message for the continuation of the struggle’.
In Athens, some 10,000 local government and hospital workers, teachers and civil servants participated in two separate marches: one organised by the ADEDY leadership, the other by the trades union section of the Greek Communist Party (KKE).
Large contingents of school and university students took part in the marches; in the last few days some 70 secondary schools are being occupied by students throughout Greece in protest against bad conditions.
At the ADEDY rally, its President, Spyros Papaspyros, emphasised that ‘one trade union is not enough, not even all trades unions do not suffice to beat this government’. According to Papaspyros, trades unions must wage a ‘social struggle’. Both the ADEDY and the KKE demonstrations marched to the Vouli (Greek parliament).
The Greek government has announced that it aims to dissolve the state Greek Railways (OSE) by sacking over 2,000 workers and imposing new ‘flexible’ working conditions on those workers who remain.
The whole rail network and stations will be privatised. The Greek railways trades unions have called a national one-day strike for next week.
The leaders of the union have refused to organise occupations nor call on the GSEE and ADEDY to call out all workers in support of the railways. Last week, railway workers demanded a march to the GSEE headquarters and clashed with their trade unions leaders who refused to obey.