Greek cleaners don’t give up after governmental violence

One of the injured Greek cleaners being treated by an ambulance crew following the riot police attack

From daily News Line in Beritain:

Thursday, 5 June


A SQUAD of Greek armed riot police on Tuesday morning attacked the sacked women cleaners who were blockading the entrance into one of the buildings of the Finance Ministry in central Athens.

Riot police used their shields along with punches and kicks to push away the women cleaners and their supporters, sacked school guards.

The cleaners put up a tremendous resistance and forced the riot squad to retreat, a great victory for their eight-month-old struggle to win their jobs back.

It is a huge set-back for the Greek government who do not have the political power to disperse the women cleaners who have set up their camp outside the ministry building for nearly a month now.

Two cleaners punched and kicked by riot police were injured and treated in hospital. Amalia Oikonomou, one of the women cleaners employed by the Finance Ministry until last September, spoke to News Line just after the riot police attack and said that ‘we will never go away until we win’.

She said that cleaners were ‘united and determined’ and aware of the importance of their fight. ‘It is not just us,’ she said. ‘If we win, it will be a victory for all workers, for all those sacked by this hated government.’

She was very critical of the trade union leaders at GSEE (Greek TUC) and ADEDY (public sector trades unions federation) ‘who have not given us the necessary support’.

Two weeks ago an Athens court vindicated the women cleaners and ordered the Finance Ministry to take them back to work immediately. But the Finance Ministry has refused and has appealed to the Greek High Court. The case is to be heard next week on 10th June.

In a statement, the cleaners state: ‘They will not terrorise our struggle. The barbaric police attack, just because we demand the implementation of the Court’s decision, will not hinder us and we will carry on our struggle even more dynamic and determined. But our fight demands the continuous solidarity and participation of all.’

Cleaners are calling a series of mobilisations this week, including a mass Athens demonstration today, Thursday 5 June.

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8 thoughts on “Greek cleaners don’t give up after governmental violence

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