May Day in Greece: Workers’ class response to the capital
The strike mobilisations on the MayDay organised by the All Workers’ Militant Front (PAME) in 75 cities throughout Greece, were a watershed event in the mobilisations of the class movement during the last period. The participation exceeded all the previous as tens of thousands of workers, men and women, young people, pensioners and immigrants, self-employed demonstrated their determination to clash with the new anti-workers, anti-peoples’ measures decided by the social-democrat government together with imperialist unions and organisations such as the EU and the IMF and with the support of the conservative party of the ND and the nationalist LAOS.
Thousands of workers and especially young ones -to whom this year’s Labour Day was dedicated- have rallied once more and in a difficult and critical juncture with PAME, the main and authentic force that expresses the interests of the working class in the labour and trade union movement and in the struggles.
The participation of the workers proved that once again they turned their backs on the opportunist parties and on the compromised leaderships of the confederations of the trade unions in the private (GSEE) and public sector (ADEDY) that seek a variation within the EU supposedly in favour of the people, exonerating it in a provocative way in contrast with the IMF and sowing illusions for the possibility of the formation of a different, a “good” stability pact within the imperialist EU. Their rallies had not only scant participation but also prearranged provocative incidents took place aiming to make large masses of workers withdraw from the struggle and to be reproduced by the media in order to cover the slogans and the volume of the demonstrations of PAME that targeted against the aims of the plutocracy.
As noted by the main speaker of the rally of PAME in Athens “In the name of all the dead of our class and of the young generation, PAME calls upon the working class to lead the struggle to confront the brutal offensive against all peoples in Europe”.
The new measures announced by the government on Sunday, May 2 are literally a slaughter: they abolish the 13th and 14th wage in public sector and transform them to a gratuity; likewise the 13th and 14th pension (both in private and public sector); they freeze the wages in public and private sector for thee years; they promote the anti-social security measures for the increase of retirement ages; they impose drastic cuts on pensions; they increase the redundancy threshold from 2% to 4%. Moreover, they impose rise in VAT on public consumption goods from 21% (after the rises before two months) to 23%, the abolition of the collective labor agreements, drastic cuts of benefits and redundancy payments, mass dismissals in public sector and local administration.
But above all the measures include the most important element for the increase of the capitalist profits that is the complete overthrow of the labour relations while they grant new provocative benefits to the big capital. At the same time, they prepare the ground for the complete abolition of the 13th and 14th salary and pension both in private and public sector.
The class oriented forces of PAME are giving a militant response to this wave of anti-labor measures. They call on the people to be in alert and to go on a new general strike on Wednesday 5 May. With the slogan “the plutocracy to go bankrupt” they call the working people to participate even more determinately in the picket lines and the strike demonstrations of PAME throughout the country.
“No matter how many billions they lend to the Greek state this does not mean anything for the people. After all capital will continue exploiting the working people even harder and the decayed political system will continue treading down and intimidating them, it will continue to need workers without dignity”, stated Aleka Papariga, General Secretary of the CC of KKE at the demonstration on May Day.
On behalf of KKE she also rejected the ostensible meeting of political leaders which as she stated “it aims only at giving the impression that people consent”. In addition, KKE stated that “there is absolutely no need to meet with the representatives of the “troika” (EU, European Bank, IMF)” and therefore refused to participate in such a meeting as the yellow trade unions and the other bourgeois parties did.