Greek metalworkers protest demanding fresh collective bargaining agreement

The employees of the company, Sidenor, had their salaries and benefits cut during the economic crisis. However, even after the company returned to profitability, it refused to revisit their contracts

June 22, 2019 by Peoples Dispatch
steel workers strike -Greece
As of now, there are 280 regular employees and 70 contract workers at the plant in Thessaloniki.

Workers at the steel manufacturing company, Sidenor, in Thessaloniki, Greece, have intensified their agitation for a satisfactory collective labor agreement. The workers have been protesting since last week. On June 20, they staged a symbolic blockade of the street in front of the Sidenor plant and struck work for four hours.

After a severe debt crisis hit Greece in 2009, austerity measures were taken and sudden structural reforms were imposed which adversely affected the Greek people.  The salary and other benefits given to employees at Sidenor, like in every other company, were also reduced. But even after becoming profitable in mid-2017, the company refused to meet the workers’ requirement for a renewed collective bargaining agreement with salary hikes. As of now, there are 280 regular employees and 70 contract workers at the plant in Thessaloniki. reported that the Board of the Metal Association of Magnesia prefecture issued a resolution of solidarity with the miners of Magnesia which was delivered to the colleagues at Sidenor.

Kostas Stergiou, the chairman of the Metsos Paparizas, or the Metal Association of Magnesia, said, “Once again, it was [made] clear from the [side of the] working class forces that the workers of Sidenor are not alone in their struggle, that the eyes and ears of all the metalworkers of Greece are focused on their struggle, a struggle promising not only for the workers at Sidenor, but for the whole industry.”

The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and the All-Workers Militant Front (PAME) also expressed their solidarity with the workers at Sidenor.