From daily News Line in Britain:
Thursday, 3 July 2014
POWER workers and technicians trades union GENOP have been threatened with ‘conscription’ by the Greek government.
They began ‘rolling’ 48-hour strikes from midnight last night against a Greek coalition government Bill to carve up and sell off 30 per cent of the Public Electricity Corporation (DEH).
Mass meetings supporting the strike against the privatisation of DEH have taken place in several power stations and mines throughout Greece. DEH is the biggest corporation and employer in Greece.
The government have reacted violently to the electricity power workers’ fight, with spokesperson Sofia Voultepsi threatening that ‘civil mobilisation orders may be issued to workers’ if the strike goes through.
She said that ‘trade unionists cannot intervene in the government’s strategic decisions. They do not own DEH, they do not have the right to turn the switches off. This would be sabotage against the state.’
She added that the government is prepared to implement ‘any measures’ so electricity blackouts are avoided.
The Secretary of New Democracy, the right-wing party leading the Greek government coalition, also demanded ‘civil mobilisation’ of DEH’s workforce.
Under the dictatorial ‘civil mobilisation’ law, workers are put under direct government orders and are deprived of all democratic rights. If they don’t turn up for work they are sacked.
The Athens Metro workers in the Greek capital are still under ‘civil mobilisation’ orders imposed in January 2013. Previous to that, the national seafarers’ strike was broken by ‘civil mobilisation’ orders.
Despite the dictatorial government threats, the GSEE (Greek TUC) have refused to call out the working class.
The Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) has said that if DEH is privatised, a future ‘Left’ government would renationalise it.
In Athens, the sacked cleaners of the Finance Ministry continue their fight. Their camp outside the ministry building has reached its 55th day. The cleaners also carry out daily protests at various state and government departments demanding their jobs back.
Speaking to the News Line Despina Kostopoulou said that ‘in these 55 days we have achieved a victory when the Athens Court vindicated us and ordered the Finance Ministry to reemploy us.
‘That was really a victory for our struggle. But the High Court decided that the government’s appeal to the Athens Court’s ruling must be heard in September. Until then we are carrying on with the fight. The government do not have the strength to kick us out.’
At the Athens Polytechnic University, administrative workers voted to go on indefinite strike against the mass sackings. This led to the resignation of the trade union leadership who voted against the strike under the pretext that lectures should be carried out.
On Saturday morning, the Greek government issued civil mobilisation orders to striking Public Power Corporation (PPC) workers, ordering them back to work by placing them under martial law. The order was issued after a ruling by the Athens Court of First Instance on Friday evening, which declared the strike illegal: here.