Working class sections in Greece protested the police repression of the workers of Kavala Petroleum over the past week. The All Workers Militant Front of Greece (PAME) and the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) denounced the attack on the workers of the oil refinery on December 21, and the protest demonstration by the workers at the Kavala court on December 22. The workers have been on a protest to secure their jobs and rights against the management.
According to reports, on December 21, the riot police raided the oil refinery in Kavala and threw flash grenades at the workers who were occupying the management’s offices to protest plans to lay off approximately 80 workers, around a third of the total workforce, and inadequate safety protocols at the plant. The police took 17 workers into custody, who were released by the Kavala Court the next day, pending a preliminary investigation. Kavala Petroleum, which is owned by Energean PLC, had earlier received guarantees worth 100 million Euros (113.25 million USD), from the Greek government to safeguard jobs and to ensure the company’s financial viability.
On December 21, in its statement, the Sectoral Committee of Kavala of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) “denounced the intervention of riot police inside the oil factory in order to suppress the mobilization of workers who for months have been resisting the plans of the employers to impose dismissals, lawsuits, threats etc.”
“The police forces acting on the orders of the company and the government invaded the factory and, among other things, used stun grenades that had an impact on the electric lighting of the factory. In any case, criminal intervention also endangers the safety of the facilities. They have also blocked a delegation of the KKE and other trade unionists who are in the area to express solidarity and protest against state violence and repression,” added the party.
Regarding the police repression of the workers of the Kavala Petroleum, PAME stated that “this is how the new era – of investments, employment, development and development for the benefit of the company and its employees, the local community and our Greece – is progressing, as proclaimed by the employer Energean and proclaimed by the Greek government and the European Union (EU).”
“Growth in corporate profitability means precarious conditions for workers. They are trying to ensure a business paradise for groups on the backs of employees at the cost of even our health and lives,” added PAME.