With the new capitalist crisis in progress, the demands of the industrialists, the big business groups, are clear: They want to proceed unhindered with the attack on salaries, pensions, working hours and stable work. They want to prevent even the slightest opposition, so as to impose all the necessary reforms for the profitability of capital, with the labor movement in chains.
The attack on the right to strike, the criminalization of the growing trade union action, the hundreds of prosecutions against trade unionists, the continuous trials against militants, the convictions of trade unionists of the class movement, even for “moral instigation”, because they are in the first line of the actions of their branches, all these developments prepared the ground for today’s situation.
Today the Greek Government prepares a new bill on Trade Union action that targets workers organization and action. The new bill that is being prepared has not been officially presented. Only unofficial articles and comments in the news, which however speak of specific extremely reactionary changes in the function of trade unions and the right to strike
- The new bill moves to the generalization of the provision for “security personnel” during Strikes. In particular, throughout the private sector (and not just the public sector and “utility” companies, as is currently the case) unions will be required to identify and notify employers in a timely manner of a number of employees to be employed as “security personnel” during strikes. In this way, in fact, they will ensure to have continuity in the production process and the operation of the and the impact of the strike on the employers will be reduced.
- Penalties in unions and compensation to employers for “illegal” and “abusive” strikes: The employer will be given the opportunity to claim compensation from the strikers and the unions in case a mobilization is deemed illegal, abusive or both. Given that 9 out of 10 strikes are already considered illegal and / or abusive by the courts, this provision means financial extermination of the unions and a ” sword” that will hang permanently over the heads of the strikers.
- Additional barriers to strike decision-making and new obstacles to union action: The new provision for the implementation of electronic voting for strikes will be combined with the provision for mandatory participation in the General Assembly that decides to strike at least 50% of the active members of the base union.
At the same time, trade union action as a whole is being persecuted. According to government “leaks”, the new law will include:
- The restriction of the legal protection of the trade unionists from dismissal. While even under the current regime employers are constantly dismissing trade unionists, the number of members of the management of a trade union organization who will have the current formal legal protection is decreasing, while the period after the end of the trade union term of the trade unionist Protection will be reduced. In addition to the terms of dismissal of a trade unionist, the filing of a lawsuit against him will be added, as well as the “prevention” of other workers from going on strike during strikes. In other words, it will be enough for an employer to file a malicious lawsuit against a trade unionist, as well as to denounce the strike picket lines of the workers, and without a conviction to be sentenced in advance to dismissal.
Against this reactionary development PAME has called for a generalized counterattack of the working class under the Slogan
“We Will not Surrender our Right to Collective Trade Union Action”