A truly important general strike of PAME was carried out on Wednesday 11 May in Greece
against the continuous anti-worker assault which has been unleashed by the PASOK government, the EU, the IMF, the ECB, the plutocracy of the country, with the support of its parties. Countless workplaces in the private and public sector came to a standstill. Factories, businesses, building sites, all the media, the ports and other workplaces remained shut. Strike picket lines from the crack of dawn surrounded workplaces which are ghettoes and supported the workers’ strike in a mass and organized way. The striking workers fought a significant battle and by participating in the strike defied employer terrorism, intimidation, deception and fatalism.
Thousands of communists, members and cadre of the KKE and KNE, with visits, speeches and interventions in the factories and workplaces, through the protection of the strike, successfully carried out this strike battle.
Tens of thousands of demonstrators flooded the centre of Athens and dozens of other cities
to participate in the strike rallies of PAME and demonstrated in a mass and well-protected way in condemnation of the anti-worker measures which are being pushed forward. In particular the wages in the public sector and former state enterprises are being targeted again by the bourgeois class, as well as social benefits and pensions. They are attempting to impose as a general principle “flexible labour relations everywhere”. In addition wide-ranging spending cuts are predicted in Health, medical spending, Education, Welfare, social-security cover for hazardous and unhealthy professions. New indirect taxes will be heaped on the workers, while the government is planning to close public bodies and fire workers on short term contracts.
The GS of the CC of the KKE, Aleka Papariga, participated in the Athens’ rally of PAME and made the following statement to journalists: “The political line of those above which leads to an organized controlled bankruptcy is like an electricity bill which you do not need to open and read. The people, the workers and employees, the self-employed must write their own pages in the history of this country, in really large and bold letters. Their anger must be transformed into strength so that they can take their counterattack to its conclusion. There is no other way.”
The central speaker at PAME’s rally in Athens, Vasilis Stamoulis, president of the Textile and Leather Workers’ Union, noted the following amongst other things in his speech:
“We are sending a message that the new barbaric measures which they are preparing will meet the mass and decisive resistance of the workers, the self-employed, the poor and medium farmers, the youth and of all the people.
They want to bring us to our knees, to subjugate us so that we do not raise our heads to respond. They will be answered by a plan and a perspective for our final and radical liberation from capitalist ownership. Whatever form of management they choose, barbarity cannot be made humane. With or without a renegotiation with an extension or a “haircut” or any other way that they choose to deal with the debt, we will continue to pay with no end in sight. They are leading us to full bankruptcy in order to save the profits of capital.
We demand that they pay for their crisis. The deficit and debt are their responsibility. There are massive profits in their banks and vaults…
The firing of blank rounds by the majorities in GSEE nd ADEDY does not fool us. They are fully
in line with the basic political line of capital and the government. They promote as the way out the reinforcement of the competitiveness of capital.
It is a part of the compromised leadership of the European trade unions which will come to our country in the following days to hold their congress and which for years have been active and anxious in the same direction-How capital at a European level will become more competitive than the other imperialist centres and competitors like China, India etc.
This caste of trade union bureaucrats, these lackeys of the transnationals are not welcome in our country.”
After this the demonstrators marched through the streets of Athens and passed by the country’s parliament. The slogan “Without you no cog can turn, Worker you can do without the bosses”, which shook the strike rallies, demonstrates that the Greek class-oriented trade union movement, which is rallied by PAME, does not only seek the organization of the struggle in order to repel the anti-people assault, but that it strengthens its ideological-political content, highlighting the possibility and necessity of another society, without the exploitation of man by man.
PAME in total carried out strike demonstrations and marches in 73 cities, which were clearly larger than the corresponding mobilizations organized by the compromised leaderships of the trade union federations in the private (GSEE) and public (ADEDY) sectors. In Athens on the march of GSEE-ADEDY, after the completion of PAME’s strike demonstration, there were scuffles due to the activity of provocateur mechanisms, there followed an attack by the special forces of the police, which had as its result the serious injury of a demonstrator. The criminal assault of the police against demonstrators was denounced in the statement of the Press Office of the CC of the KKE, which noted amongst other things: “the KKE denounces the criminal assault of the police against demonstrators which resulted in the serious injury of a demonstrator. The police assault is a part of and a result both of the government’s political line and the bourgeois mechanisms to break the people’s anger and struggle, which has been provoked by the anti-people hurricane of the government, EU and
plutocracy. The people must not submit to any kind of blackmail and attack against it; it must raise a rampart and counterattack.”