Solidarity to the public-transport strikers in Greece

Workers and employees of Athens metro, urban train and the tram are facing wage cuts for the 4rth time in the last 2 years. Their salaries have been already reduced up to 45%. Now, the government wants toabolish their collective labor agreements that provide the minimum salaries for their particular sector and apply a payroll, common for all civil workers instead. The workers want to defend their collective labor agreements. After having tried every possible means of protest without any success, they are now on strike for more than 8 days.

The chairman of the employees union of Athens metro Antonis Stamatopoulos explains: ” We work 24 hours per day under difficult conditions. Shouldn’t be entitled to be paid extra for working in the weekends or during public holidays? We are technicians, plumbers and electricians. I am just a technicianand I only have the basic/obligatory education. I work for many years and according to the new salary scheme I will earn just 600 euros. “ [Link in Greek]

The union of Attiko Metro SA, the company that supervises the further expansion of the network, has also been on strike due the salary cuts and upcoming redundancies. The mainstream media are trying to turn the public opinion against the strikers. They keep blaming them for not respecting people’s need for public transport. Of course, they fail to mention anything about the outspoken plans of the government to raise dramatically the price of public transport tickets.

The government accuses the strikers of being a marginal and privileged group that are getting paid for the days they are on strike. It also claims that the employees earn more than 4000 euros per month. Strikers have proven that this is just government propaganda. Stamatopoulos himself has been brutally attacked by a group of 10 unknown people led by a member of the union that is a PASOK- supporter (one of the governing coalition parties).  [Link in Greek]

After a court decision ruling that the strike is “illegal and abusive” , the government has ordered the requisition of the strikers and threatens them with layoffs. The strikers are not intimidated and continue their mobilization.

We support their struggle and we express our total solidarity to their fair demands.We wholeheartedly support the workers  struggling to retain collective wage agreements, decent wages and working conditions.

We support any strike and struggle of austerity-hit workers and unemployed.

Only a full-scale and decisive struggle can stop these policies and the repression.