Greek metal workers protest against privatization of LARCO

Workers of the state-owned General Mining and Metallurgical Company SA held a protest against the uncertainty in their employment conditions and seeking a Christmas allowance

December 26, 2020 by Peoples Dispatch
The LARCO smelter in in Larymna.

On Thursday, December 24, workers of the Greek ferro-nickel production company,  General Mining and Metallurgical Company SA (LARCO), held a four-hour work stoppage in Larymna protesting the uncertainties in employment in the wake of the proposed privatization of the company. The workers also demanded safer working conditions and a special Christmas allowance. The All Workers Militant Front (PAME) and the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) have expressed solidarity with the workers of LARCO.

Earlier in February 2020, the conservative New Democracy (ND)-led government proposed the phased privatization of the state-owned LARCO and a 25% reduction in the salary of LARCO employees. Since then, workers of the company have organized several protests against the salary cuts, privatization of the company and demanding job security.

LARCO has four major mines in various parts of the country and its metallurgical plant in Larymna employs the majority of the company’s employees.

While addressing the workers protest, president of the Metal Union of Fthiotida, Panagiotis Politis said that “the government wanted LARCO closed and the employees out of their jobs. With our fair fight, we managed to keep it open, avoid redundancies and prevent additional cuts. We are here with our heads held high and we fight for the continuation of the unified operation of LARCO, our jobs and our rights”.

PAME stated “Workers are demanding an emergency allowance from the government that will make up for their slashed salaries, so that they and their families can celebrate Christmas.”

On Thursday, Dimitris Koutsoumbas: Secretary General of the Communist Party of Greece(KKE) participated in the workers protest at the LARCO’s plant in Larymna and expressed solidarity with the workers.