Greek workers protest government’s anti-labor policies on pretext of fighting COVID-19

Workers under the leadership of the All Workers Militant Front (PAME) in Greece observed the National Day of Action on April 28. PAME has demanded the abolition of the anti-worker measures introduced through bills citing the COVID-19 crisis

May 01, 2020 by Peoples Dispatch
National Day of Action-Greece

In Greece, April 28 was observed as the National Day of Action in workplaces across the country. Mobilizations were organized on the day with the slogan “We Paid Too Much! We Will Not Pay Again!” under the call given by the All Workers Militant Front (PAME). Strikes, protests, work stoppages, meetings and general assemblies were held nationwide to demand the protection of workers’ health and rights, within and outside the workplace, from attacks by employers and the state. 

902.gr reported that decentralized mobilizations took place across Greece in various establishments such as hospitals, industries, government offices, etc. Workers from across sectors, including medics, industrial workers, teachers, students, farmers, transport workers, construction workers and government employees, among others, registered their protest against the government’s anti-labor policies introduced in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

PAME accused the conservative New Democracy (ND) government of using the restrictive measures imposed due to the pandemic and the insecurity of workers to attack workers’ rights. At the same time, employers have been granted favorable measures, along with billions of euros in order to keep “the businesses standing up” during the crisis, the union said.

“Extraordinary anti-labor laws passed in the midst of the pandemic include measures to facilitate exploitation, providing business groups and employers with unprecedented immunity to implement any measures to dismantle labor relations. From shift work to unpaid overtime, unlimited movement of workers, forced leave, contract suspensions, etc,” PAME said.

PAME has demanded the abolition of such anti-workers’ measures brought in by the government through bills promulgated to manage the COVID-19 crisis.

The Greek government announced the mandatory suspension of businesses to contain the spread of the virus on March 18 and enforced a lockdown in the country by March 23. But, the restrictions in place have been informally relaxed since last week, with some cities anticipating significant official relaxations in the first week of May.

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