April 17 Greece National Strike

All in the struggle

For wage increases and collective contracts

For immediate action against inflation

For a life with rights and dignity

The Federations, the Regional Trade Union Centres, the hundreds of base level trade unions in the country continue with even greater momentum to escalate the struggle in every workplace and in every sector. With general assemblies, strikes, rallies, meetings, we are preparing the national- all-workers’ strike on April 17.

The strike on 28 February was one of the biggest strikes in recent years. It united the struggle of workers, farmers, students, self-employed people in a big nationwide front against the policies of the government, business groups and the EU.

It expressed the generalized indignation that exists in our homes, but also the anger at the attempt to cover up the responsibilities of all bourgeois parties, ND, SYRIZA, PASOK for the crime-traincrash in Tempe. But we insist. The crime will not be covered up. The guilty must pay!

We are giving all our strength to prepare the strike on 17 April.

The GSEE and ADEDY, the members of ETUC in Greece, the trade union forces that are committed to the logic of competitiveness, social dialogue and social peace, are attached to the interests of the business groups.

The hundreds of thousands of workers who took part in the strike of February 28 and the strike meetings, the hundreds of strike decisions by primary unions, regional union centres and federations in the public and private sectors were the best response to the plan to undermine our struggles. Workers shouted that problems do not wait, that solutions are needed here and now.

We step forward for wage increases, for the abolition of the anti-labour laws that undermine collective agreements! For an end to the country’s involvement in the imperialist wars!

In dozens of workplaces and sectors, struggles are currently taking place for wage increases and the signing of collective agreements. There are conquests, contracts are being signed in factories after many years, a large part of the workers are organising based on demand and not fatalism.

The nationwide strike of the construction workers, the strikes and mobilisations in the Shipbuilding Zone and in metal factories, in food and beverages, the mobilisations of the workers in the call centers, the mass mobilisations for health in cities of the country, show the way that needs to be strengthened everywhere.

The government and the business groups are concerned about the struggles that put forward the needs of the workers, that go against profits and exploitation. They are trying to absorb the shocks and manipulate them.

Enough! We demand all that is necessary for a decent life! We do not accept to work without collective agreements, with wages and salaries that are not enough to cover basic and acute needs. We do not accept to become meat in the cannons of the imperialists.

We cannot accept paying the bill of inflation in the Super Markets, waiting for the supposed seasonal relief coupons. We cannot accept as normal the increased bills for oil, gas, petrol, electricity, so as the profitability of business groups not be affected.

The “increases” that will result from the government’s unacceptable minimum wage setting will disappear “in the blink of an eye” due to the inflation. Particularly for the thousands of workers who work under flexible relations and cannot live on 400 euros, nominal increases of 20-30 euros are a drop in the ocean of despair.

We continue on the path of struggle and strike escalation!

The mockery of the government and the rest of the parties of capital and the EU will not pass.

The New Democracy party talks about a de-escalation in the waves of price increases at the same time that inflation in Greece in February continued to run at an annual rate of 3.2%, according to official Eurostat data. Based on the same data, there are large increases in almost all basic necessities of life and especially in foodstuffs, which exceed 35%, with olive oil leading the way in terms of increased prices, with an annual increase of 67.4%!

SYRIZA, PASOK, Velopoulos’ party and the rest of the bourgeois parties are embellishing the situation in the EU. They are hiding the fact that the unprecedented mass and long mobilisations of workers and peasants throughout Europe are triggered by the same problems, such as poverty, inflation, low incomes and war. They hide the fact that the real responsibilities of the New Democracy lie in the implementation of this unpopular policy which they jointly vote for in both the Greek Parliament and the European Parliament.

This is the reality! This is why every working-class household is not able to make it through the month, when the SEV surveys for the previous year show that one in two businesses increased their turnover and they think the economic situation is good. Good for business, bad and upside down for workers.

We put our own needs first!

The power is in organizing workers. We don’t wait for the government or other late saviors who supposedly have solutions or will defend our rights.

The strength of workers, students, farmers, small professionals lies in the organization and the common struggle, in the path of demand. This was demonstrated by the big nationwide rally of the farmers in Syntagma with their tractors on 20 February.

We are strengthening the current of conflict, of questioning. Let our anger become an assertive force against the government and the employers.

We continue the struggle for exclusive public free health and education

In these conditions the government brings new measures and laws in health and education. The big nationwide student rally on March 8 and the struggles in university education of two months focusing on the demand for exclusive public and free education with modern, quality studies for all, was the response of the many, the majority of students and the Greek people against the further commercialization and privatization of university education. The struggle continues so that the law that was voted, will be canceled in practice.

At the same time, in dozens of cities and neighborhoods we are faced with public health centers and hospitals decimated of basic specialties, with great shortages of medical equipment, with insufficient numbers of medical and nursing staff, with high prices for doctors, for medicines, for examinations, for treatments.

With paid surgeries, the government is moving towards further commercialization of services that until now have been provided free of charge by the public health system, but also towards ‘almost self-financing health care units’, seeking to relieve the state of the responsibility to maintain and finance public health care units. We are not going to leave the health of the people in the hands of the health vultures, we will not allow to pass the reactionary changes, we are strengthening the front in defence of free and public health care.

No involvement – No participation in the war

At the same time that we are suffering in the clutches of poverty and critical shortages of infrastructure and personnel in health, education and social services, the government is taking from our sweat 7 billion euros a year for NATO armaments and war missions that involve our country even more deeply in the imperialist plans of the USA – NATO – EU.

We do not accept the crime of genocide that is being committed unceasingly against the Palestinians in Gaza by the murderous state of Israel with the decisive contribution of the US-NATO. The armed forces have no business outside the country’s borders in missions that involve us more deeply in the fight for the control of resources.

April 17, We strike again for our lives, demanding pay rises, real relief measures that protect working people’s incomes.

We are fighting for:

Substantial wage increases. Abolition of anti-worker laws and restoration of collective bargaining in the unions.

Increase the minimum wage. A wage indexation clause to cover the constantly rising prices of consumer goods.

Universal reintroduction of triennials incorporating the period 2012 – 2023.

Reintroduction of the principle of the most favourable contract, post-contracting, etc.

Restoration of Christmas and Easter benefits, the holiday allowance for civil servants.

Unemployment benefit at 80% of the minimum wage for all unemployed.

Fixed work with rights, 7 hours – 5 days – 35 hours. No tolerance for working hours that eliminate workers, flexible forms of employment and unpaid overtime.

Cheap electricity for the people. With the abolition of indirect taxes (VAT, Special Consumption Tax) and a cap on energy and fuel prices. Abolition of the Energy Exchange.

Abolition of VAT and a cap on the prices of consumer goods such as food, baby products, personal hygiene products, etc.

Tax-free limit of €12,000 plus €3,000 for each child. Abolition of presumptions of living.

Abolition of ENFIA tax for working households.

Stop the further commercialisation of public health care. No to paid surgeries. No to closure, no to merger of any department, clinic, hospital, health centre. Fully reopen the hospitals, all the structures closed due to cuts. Guarantee by the state free, complete and unhindered health care and hospitalization for all. Free all medical, diagnostic, laboratory and preventive examinations, all medicines and vaccines.

No to NATO spending – No involvement of Greece in the imperialist wars. Return the frigate “HYDRA”.

Decisive strengthening of state funding for Health, Education, Welfare, social services of the municipalities, for protection against natural disasters. Massive recruitment of permanent staff in all these critical sectors.

Stop here and now the disgraceful auctions of people’s homes. Rent subsidies by broadening the inclusion criteria and increasing the subsidy.