Hundreds of Communist party KKE unionists from PAME stormed the Labor Ministry in Athens on Tuesday demanding cancellation of the new strike law introduced in the latest omnibus bill with prior actions dictated by the country’s lenders.
Using crowbars, about 500 PAME protesters prised open metal shutters of the labor ministry in central Athens, broke a glass door and raced up to the eighth floor of the building where about 50 of them came face to face with Labor Minister Effie Achtsioglou.
The 32-year old minister is a staunch leftist in the government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
Visibly disturbed, Achtsioglou was silent as demonstrators shouted “shame on you” over the legislation that has been tabled to the Parliament and is expected to be voted on January 22nd.
“Take it back,” they shouted. “I will not take it back,” the minister responded.
Hundreds storm Greek Ministry of Labour demanding justice for workers pic.twitter.com/8K9Evet5Yt
— Ruptly (@Ruptly) January 9, 2018
Achtsioglou’s office was undamaged, but a Reuters witness saw two to three desks in the corridor leading to her office damaged or overturned.
The legislation limits the right to strike as Greece’s lenders consider that Greeks strike much to often and this harms competitiveness and scares off investors. While everybody knows that it is rather the over-taxation and the much to often changes in the tax and social contributions laws that hinders entrepreneurship in the country.
The legislation has increased the quorum for unions to vote on a strike.
“For the discussion and the decision to launch a strike the presence of at least 50% of economically settled members is required,” the controversial sentence on strike law dictates.
PAME unionists again launched a protest on Wednesday morning and managed to come outside the Prime Minister’s office.
The held banners reading “We fight back – Hands off from strike” and chanted slogans like “We won’t yield to plutocracy!”
PAME also demands withdrawal of the foreclosures law, also in the omnibus bill, as auctions will take place electronically only.
PS I can’t help but notice, the absurd in the whole issue: Communists defend the right to strike when strikes were banned in communists regimes, while left-wing governments limit the right to strike following neo-liberal policies. Or are neo-liberals modern times communists in terms of totalitarianism after all?