Sunday, July 04, 2010

[olympiaworkers] A self-organised restaurant - Thessaloniki, Greece Jul 4 2010

From June 7th, the restaurant barthelonika in the centre of Thessaloniki
is working in a self-organised manner, run by its workers.

From June 7th, the restaurant barthelonika in the centre of Thessaloniki
is working in a self-organised manner, run by its workers. It all began
when the owner of the restaurant announced to the workers that the
restaurant will close for three months during summer and that he will
decide its fate in September. The workers, from their part, claim the
business is making profit and there is no reason for it to suspend its

And so, they made an informal agreement according to which the workers
themselves will take on the running of the restaurant for two months, in
order for them not to become unemployed.

Now, as they tell us, the restaurant barthelonika is "working normally
without bosses, managers and hierarchical relationships. We all decide
together about everything, we find suppliers and look after the place. In
this climate of crisis, if we accept the decisions of the bosses without
reaction we will be lead straight to abjection", they stress out.

Immediately after taking on the management of the restaurant, the workers
applied a 30% reduction on all dishes and have invited the society of
Thessaloniki to support this self-organised project. On Sunday the kitchen
of barthelonika is transferred to the Anti-racist Festival, where the
workers decided to attend and cook for its visitors.

translation of an article that was published in the greek newspaper "the
street" (O Dromos)

What follows is a translation of a text issued by the workers themselves
(greek original here) explaining their action and calling for solidarity.



Since Monday the 7th of June us, the workers at the restaurant
Barthelonika run the restaurant ourselves and for this reason, ask for the
help and the support of all the workers of Thessaloniki.

Two weeks ago the owners of the restaurant announced us that the
establishment was not going well and that it would close down for the
three summer months – and further, that it was uncertain wether it would
reopen in September and how many of us would work – and under what working
conditions. They also announced us that all the workers at the restaurant
would be fired immediately while firing compensations would only start to
be paid out in October… that is, of course, if they had any money to pay
the compensations out.

As workers in the food industry we know well that a firing in today's
circumstances of deep economic crisis and tough anti-workerist attacks
would mean our throwing out in the cold. For this reason we decided as
workers at the restaurant not to bow our heads and to take matters in our
own hands. We demanded and achieved from the management of the restaurant
to pay some expenses for the establishment and our own insurance – and we
now have taken on the management of the restaurant for the following two
months (June and July) while in August we have achieved to have our
holiday as normal.

As workers at the Barthelonika restaurant we are determined not to allow
the restaurant where we work to close but also, not to allow any
restaurant to close and no co-worker to bef ired. For this reason we stand
in solidarity with the just struggle of our co-workers at the Banquet

The restaurant Barthelonika will be under our control, through our general
assembly. Decisions concerning its running will be taken by majority and
will be respected by all us co-workers. Whatever remains from profit after
expenses will be distributed equally among all co-workers. All of us
co-workers will work the same hours, at the same positions where we were

We have also decided to offer a 30% reduction to all customers of the

We call for all workers, the youth and the people of Thessaloniki to
actively support our effort to run the restaurant, in order to save our
jobs and not to be thrown out to unemployment and misery.

The restaurant Barthelonika is in the centre of our city, at 3 Venizelou
Str in the Rogoti Arcade, 1st floor, tel. 2310 225 242

Opening hours: 11 am to 1 am. Closed on Sundays.


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