Tuesday, March 23, 2010

[olympiaworkers] Spring wave of strikes hits Greece

Libcom.org Mar 23 2010

Lawyers have called a 3-day long strike and doctors continue withdrawing
their labour against the austerity measures, train workers halt their
locomotives, while four different labour marches are to be performed
within the day by judicial officers, firemen and pensioners in Athens,
along with a central public sector march in the afternoon.

Just a few days before the long holiday season of the greek easter, which
is the government's main hope for easing tension, a new wave of strikes
and protest marches against the austerity measures is hitting the country.

Lawyers have declared a three day strike against the austerity measures
for the 23, 24 and 26 of March (the 25th is a national holiday). Meawhile,
doctors are continuing to withdraw their labour from the country's public
hospitals in demand of the immediate payment of all their owed salaries.
Athens doctors will be seeing the Minister of Health today, although their
Salonica colleagues refused to see the Minister for negotiations a few
days ago. Yesterday doctors across the country performed a coordinated 6
hour stoppage and a demo outside the Ministry of Health in Athens. It must
be noted that talks between National Electricity (DEH) workers and the
Minister of Labour are in progress. The DEH union has declared that if the
talks fail it will move to rolling 48h strikes that will plunge the
country in darkness.

At the same time, train and suburban train workers are performing a 4 hour
stoppage today against the measures, during the noon peak-time that will
see all trains come to a standstill. Judicial officers continue their
daily 2-h work stoppage campaign against the measures, which has brought
chaos to the greek courts. The judicial officers will gather today at
10:00 at the Eirinodikio Courts and march to the Parliament. Meanwhile,
firemen have called a demo at Omonoia for 11:00 intending to march against
the measures to the Ministry of Finance. A little later pensioners have
called a march against the measures to the Ministry of National Economy.
They will be joined by National Telecommunications, National Railway and
National Post workers also protesting against pension cuts. Later in the
day, at 18:00, ADEDY, the public sector umbrella union, has called a
central protest march against the measures from Propylaea to the
Parliament. At the same time, anarchists are calling for an anti-racist
demo at Amerikis square, an hang out area of African immigrants coveted by
neon-nazi groups.

The continuous protest marches are expected to keep the centre of Athens
off limits for cars throughout the day. The government is meanwhile
launching a mixed campaign of rumors and declarations against these very
rumors concerning the country seeking IMF help, or going bust, or changing
back to its old national currency. This strategy of confusion is
supplanted by newspaper talk of secret printing of old currency notes in
the Treasury vaults, and about the 25th of March being a "critical day"
for the currency. At the same time the government is trying to let some
steam out of radical protester's anger, by promising an immediate reversal
of the anti-hood law and an immediate ban on CCTV in public spaces.

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