On the 12th of November 2015 a 24hr general strike was held in Greece with the participation of workers from the private and public sector against the anti-worker anti-people measures of the government. These are measures that further tear down the state social security system, increase the retirement age, cut pensions etc.
The All-workers’ Militant Front (PAME), which is a rally of class-oriented trade unions, played the leading role in the strike against the SYRIZA-ANEL government, the EU, the government and employer-led trade union forces.
PAME organized 71 strike demonstrations all over the country, in which the overwhelming majority of the demonstrators participated, in contrast with the clearly smaller demonstrations organized by the employer and government-led trade unionists of GSEE and ADEDY. The governmental party SYRIZA in a brazen display of hypocrisy called on the workers to participate in the demonstrations of GSEE-ADEDY against the anti-people political line of its own government.
At the side of the workers in PAME’s demonstrations there were also the unemployed, pensioners, self-employed organized in The Nationwide Anti-monopoly Rally (PASEVE), the poor farmers, whose associations are organized in the All-Farmers Militant Rally (PASY), as well as the youth (The Students’ Front of Struggle-MAS and also thousands of school students) and women from the popular strata under the banners of the Federation of Greek Women (OGE).
PAME’s forces held a magnificent rally and march in the Greek capital in front of the Greek parliament.
In her speech to PAME’s strike rally in Syntagam Sq., Olga Siantou, member of PAME’s Executive Secretariat, stressed amongst other things: “We strike and demonstrate today, because the measures passed by the government and those that it is preparing to bring in November and the next few months will be the “tombstone” for social security, pensions, health and welfare services and will bring new reductions in pensions and salaries.
We must make them understand that we will not become the slaves of the 21st century!
We are here on path of struggle, determined to escalate the struggle and stop the crimes of the SYRIZA-ANEL coalition government, the European Union and the big businessmen, who are trying to convince us that everything is happening for our own good and that it is necessary and inevitable.
What is necessary and inevitable is the path of struggle so that we can get rid of them once and for all. So that we can get rid of the decay and parasites of society, of those who drink our blood everyday, suffocate us with debts, unemployment and problems.
We demand and fight for:
State social security for all.
No house of the worker’s-people to be taken by the banks.
An end to the heavy taxes on the workers’-popular families.
Immediate protection measures for the unemployed.
No to mass dismissals.
No to starvation wages. Recovery of the losses in earnings now. The return of salaries and pensions to the levels of 2009.
No worker to be paid less than 751 euros a month.
No one without a collective labour agreement-no one without social security cover.
No to all the privatizations.
The plutocracy must pay for the crisis and the debts which it alone created.
We will not retreat one inch from these demands. We do not give up on our needs, we are not going to contribute so that the crisis is overcome in the interests of the plutocracy; we do not aim to coexist with the interests of the capitalists.”
The speaker also stressed that: “Our struggle is a struggle for survival, for a better life and it is precisely for this reason that we organize it and plan it with the aim of overturning the anti-people political line, with the end goal of overthrowing capital’s power. It is a struggle that we will continue to the very end, where our dreams will take revenge! We have no other choice, there is no other way. You are either with the capitalist profits or with the satisfaction of the people’s needs. There is no third way, no intermediate or transitional path, no path that gives a little bit to everyone, that gives something to capital and something to the workers! We must do away with illusions, you are either with capital or with the workers!”
It should be noted that dozens of trade unions from all over the world expressed their solidarity with the strike struggle of the Greek people.
Unfortunately, the international mass media once again concealed the truth from the workers, focusing mainly on the sparsely attended rallies of the pro-government trade unionists, as well as on the minor incidents involving the police, created by small groups of provocateurs.
D. Koutsoumpas: A dynamic beginning
The GS of the CC of the KKE, Dimitris Koutsoumpas, attended the strike demonstration of PAME in Athens and made the following statement:
“From today there can be a new dynamic beginning, with the escalation of the people’s struggle. Every workplace, every neighbourhood, every sector must become a fortress of resistance, struggle, demands and solidarity. The sites of resistance, all those being created on a daily basis, can be brought together with unified goals at a sectoral, local and nationwide level., together with the rest of the labour-people’s movement. With the people’s alliance, with the struggle against the monopolies and capitalism, we can all together impose overthrows, radical changes in the economy and society for the good of our people.”
PAME; It was only the beginning
It should be noted that from the crack of dawn, trade unions and struggle committees rallied in PAME protected the strike. The members of the class-oriented trade unions outside the ships, the building sites, the factories, services and other workplaces called on the workers to strike and join the strike demonstrations of PAME, with its class-oriented framework of demands.
The Executive Secretariat of PAME, in its statement, saluted the mass participation of the workers in the strike and noted that the strike on the 12th of November was only the beginning!