Striking workers denounce anti-labor policies of Greece’s conservative government

Greek workers are engaged in a massive strike against the country’s conservative government due to a proposal for a new development bill that has a number of anti-labor and anti-union provisions

September 26, 2019 by Peoples Dispatch
Greek Protests
The call for the strike against the controversial development bill proposed by the New Democracy government in Greece was given by the communist trade union, the All Workers Militant Front.

Greek workers and trade unions went on a massive strike on September 24, denouncing anti-worker programs and policies incorporated in a new development bill that has been proposed by the conservative New Democracy (ND) government. The call for the strike was given by the communist trade union, the All Workers Militant Front (PAME).

In Athens, thousands of striking workers gathered at Propylaea, where the secretary of the Central Committee of the Greek Communist Party (KKE), Dimitris Koutsoumpas, addressed the protesters. 

Massive demonstrations were held in the cities of Thessaloniki, Koropi, Patras, Piraeus, Mytilene,  Alexandroupoli, Komotni and Xanthi, among others.

Hundreds gathered at the University Square in Volos, Thessally, braving rain to denounce the proposed anti-worker legislation. reported that the workers’ rally in the city of Patras was also attended by the city’s communist mayor, Konstantinos Peletidis.

PAME has accused the ND government of submitting a bill meant to implement the remaining demands of big businesses, to accomplish what the previous government did not finish. 

The conservative party’s notion of development is likely to lead to the further chipping away of labor and people’s rights. The new development bill seeks to turn large geographical areas into cheap economic “work zones”. It intends to further compress wages and abolish collective bargaining by workers and trade unions. If enacted into a law, while the provision of social security will be privatized, trade unions are expected to be severely restricted, with strong barriers to the right to strike.

According to reports, through the new legislation, the government is also pushing for the imposition of  a system of electronic registry for all trade union members. In this way, all information about them will be made available to the employers, the police and the state. Collective procedures followed by the unions will also be targeted through the introduction of e-voting for all union decisions.