Braving police crackdown, Greek telecom workers continue strike

The workers of the OTE telecom company have been on strike since the last week of December, demanding a single collective contract for all workers in the OTE Group

January 09, 2020 by Peoples Dispatch
Greek OTE strike
Workers of the Greek telecom firm OTE on strike for over two weeks. (Photo: 902.gr)

The workers of the Greek telecom firm OTE (owned by Deutsche Telekom) continue their strike demanding a single collective contract for all workers in the OTE Group, with equal salaries and rights. On Tuesday, January 7, – the 14th day of the strike – police arrested five trade unionists picketing at the OTE’s headquarters in Thessaloniki, on the complaint of OTE’s Thessaloniki regional director.

The Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation S.A. or the OTE Group is the largest technology company in Greece. Several attempts have also been made by the company’s management to break the strike which began the last week of December, but have so far remained unsuccessful.

The communist trade union, All Workers Militant Front (PAME), while condemning the arrests, said in its statement on Tuesday, “Today’s arrests of union executives show how the employer has decided to try all its anti-labor plans, literally following the conservative New Democracy (ND) government’s policy to curb strikes and trade unionism. The management has used unprecedented tactics through a multitude of media campaigns, pressures, threats and terrorism by executives, and layoffs, to break the strike.”

“No matter how shameful these practices are, they will prove to be in vain against the determination of the group of workers, who need more unity and determination and must step up their fair fight,” PAME added.

The new development bill pushed by the ND government in Greece, in September 2018, calls for the abolishing of collective bargaining by workers and trade unions and imposes strict restrictions on trade union activities and the right to strike. Trade unions and progressive sectors across Greece had also organized massive protests against this bill during September of last year.

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