From daily News Line in Britain:
Wednesday, 4 March 2015
Greek Vodafone strike ‘illegal’
AN Athens court declared ‘illegal’ the national strike called by Vodafone workers yesterday demanding a collective labour agreement.
The Vodafone workers’ trade union refused to accept the court’s decision and pickets were out early on Tuesday morning in Athens and major Greek cities.
Workers at another telecom company Wind are set for their two-day national strike on Wednesday and Thursday.
The vast majority of workers at the Greek telecom companies are young people in their 20s who have been fighting against the bosses’ attempts to impose ‘flexible’ working conditions and keep low wages.
In Athens the 595 sacked Finance Ministry women cleaners completed 301 days and nights of their fight to get their jobs back at their Centre of Struggle, the tent camp they have set up on the pavement outside a Finance Ministry building in the city centre.
A group of cleaners spoke to News Line at the Centre of Stuggle on Monday.
Maria Stergiopoulou said: ‘We are very optimistic that we will get our jobs back, I believe it 100 per cent.’
This view was agreed by all other women cleaners present.
But one of them, Khrysoula, added: ‘We know we are going to win, but if the SYRIZA government won’t take us back, then we will set up camp outside the Prime Minister’s office.’
Another cleaner, Andrianna, said: ‘The previous government’s ministers who sacked us must be put on trial for the poverty and misery they created.’
When asked if they support the SYRIZA government’s recent agreement with the EU on the extension of the austerity accords, Maria said: ‘The government were trapped, the four months extension deal was the best they could have done.’
Katerina said that she lives across the street from where the Greek Prime Minister and SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras lives.
She said: ‘If he doesn’t take us back to work I will go up to his house and demand why.’
Thursday, 5 March 2015
Vodafone workers win their strike
THE President of the Greek Vodafone workers’ trade union Jaklin Gorou said that Tuesday’s national strike, demanding wage rises, the end of flexible working and the signing of a national agreement, was ‘a success’ with over 80 per cent of workers participating in it.
An Athens court had declared as ‘illegal’ the Vodafone workers’ strike, but the strike went ahead with legal cover provided by the Athens Trades Council.
By midday, the Vodafone management said that it will discuss the union’s demands.
At the Athens Vodafone HQ, where over 800 young people are employed, strong picketing foiled the company’s attempt to bring in strikebreakers. There was a strong presence by riot police.
The pickets were visited by the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) parliamentary representative Thanasis Petrakos who expressed SYRIZA’s support to the strikers.
Petrakos was asked by Vodafone workers why the SYRIZA government does not repeal the austerity accord’s legislation. He replied that the government is preparing legislation to do so.
After repeated postponements, the SYRIZA-ANEL coalition government tabled on the Vouli (Greek parliament) its first Bill which aims to ‘meet’ the ‘social and humanitarian crisis’.
The Bill provides free electricity, a rent supplement and food coupons to those ‘in extreme poverty’ as it puts it.
According to the Greek Statistics Authority (ELSTAT) 30 per cent of all Greek families are under or on the verge of the so-called ‘poverty line’.
But the government Bill would not be of any help to the vast majority of these families, estimated at 750,000, only to about 30,000 families with less than 4,800 euros annual income.
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