8) PAME LEADS MILITANT STRIKE ACROSS GREECE

 

As the economic and social crisis in Greece continues, the All-Workers Militant Front (PAME) continues to spearhead working class resistance against the neoliberal austerity policies of the Syriza-ANEL government. PAME called a militant strike across the country on November 28, raising a number of important demands: immediate increases in wages, in pensions, in social benefits; cancellation of laws that abolish collective bargaining rights; raise the minimum monthly wage to 751 (about $1125 Can.) for all.

As part of its struggle, PAME has called on unions throughout the country to hold General Assemblies to strengthen and expand through collective processes the strike wave against the policies of the governments and employers. All unions are being urged to take part in the struggle, to organize strike preparations and take initiatives in every industry, region and workplace.

The draft state budget for 2019 and the achievement of new "blood-stained" fiscal surpluses, says PAME, once again attack the people and offer a significant reduction in taxes for business groups. This is in practice the true meaning of "regularity" and "development" mentioned by the government: development for more profits for the big employers, through workers exploitation, without rights.

The minimum things offered by the government and the main opposition party during the pre-election period do not change the life of the great majority of the people, who suffer from higher taxes and constant blows to their incomes. None of the about 700 "memorandum" laws adopted by the Greek parliament to qualify IMF-EU loans has been abolished, only pledges to change these laws in decades not the near future.

It is time for the workers to take the spotlight, says PAME, calling for a united and coordinated struggle, not waiting and tolerance. "Let us respond to the lies and illusions of the SYRIZA-ANEL government and the main opposition party of Nea Dimokratia," says PAME. "No one will solve the problems created by the anti-worker policies of their governments since the beginning of the crisis, unless a massive, decisive struggle is organized to put our own needs ahead of the profits of the few."

Exposing the "lies and the propaganda of the government," PAME says that "they claim that they will increase the minimum wage, but the truth is that the government and the other parties that voted for the third memorandum (PASOK, ND,SYRIZA), voted also against the proposal of 530 trade unions to increase the minimum wage to 751! In essence, they implement the law which abolishes the collective bargaining, and the government together with the respective minister will determine the minimum wage according to the criteria of `productivity', `competitiveness', `employment' and `unemployment', that is, the entire reactionary framework that has crashed and keeps crashing wages."

PAME goes on to blast the "continuing mockery of the government" as a provocation against pensioners, who have been hit with 21 reductions in pensions under the "memorandum" regime. Similarly, the policies of the government and the banks have hit hard at families, many of whom have had their homes seized.

At the same time, the SYRIZA-ANEL government has been "upgrading" the Greek-US defence cooperation, with higher risks for the people, involving the country and its infrastructure and Armed Forces in the dangerous war plans of imperialism.

"This policy puts our country even deeper in the control of the energy monopolies," warns PAME. "We are even more involved in the competition among the great imperialist poles that do not hesitate to resolve their differences through war, destruction, killings and uprooting."

Calling for the militant strike on November 28, PAME says, "No surrender to the minimum, to their miserable wages, to the badly paid work of the short-term employment programs, to unemployment - only our own struggle, militant action, the reconstruction of the trade union movement, the social alliance can overturn the barbaric anti-popular policies, in order to put our own needs forward!"

The demands of the Nov. 28 strike include:

- Cancellation of the law, which abolishes the collective bargaining.
- minimum salary to 751 for all.

- Stable and permanent work for all.

- Increases in wages, pensions and social benefits.

- Public Universal Compulsory Social Security. Minimum pension at 600 euros, or 80% of the minimum salary.

- No auction of a family's primary residence.

- Spending on anti-seismic, anti-flood and fireproof shielding infrastructure, "so that we do not die when it rains, or get burnt by wildfires during the summer."

- No involvement in the imperialist plans and wars of NATO and the EU. "Do not allow our country to become an aircraft carrier for interventions. We have the same problems, the same concerns, the same needs as neighbouring peoples."

 

(The above article article is from the December 1-31, 2018, issue of People's Voice, Canada's leading socialist newspaper. Articles can be reprinted free if the source is credited. Subscription rates in Canada: $30/year, or $15 low income rate; for U.S. readers - $45 US per year; other overseas readers - $45 US or $50 CDN per year. Send to People's Voice, c/o PV Business Manager, 706 Clark Drive, Vancouver, BC, V5L 3J1.)