Category: Labor
KKE: “Syriza and New Democracy compete with each other on who is the best executioner of the workers’ rights”
| January 11, 2018 | 7:24 pm | Communist Party Greece (KKE), Greece, Labor, Syriza | No comments

Thursday, January 11, 2018

KKE: “Syriza and New Democracy compete with each other on who is the best executioner of the workers’ rights”
“The New Democracy party, apparently being perplexed as long as the SYRIZA-ANEL government has taken its job, bids in anti-worker proposals and competes with SYRIZA on who is the best executioner of the workers’ rights” writes, among other things, a recent statement of the Press Office of the CC of the KKE
Earlier, in a statement, the centre-right opposition party of New Democracy (ND) had expressed disagrements with some of the provisions of the new antiworkers’ bill forwarded by the government. However, ND agrees on the new law’s amendment which actually tries to abolish the right of the workers to strike. 
It must be noted that according to the new governmental bill, in order for a grass-root trade-union to declare a strike, 50% of the enrolled members should agree with it. Furthermore, it is a measure that the government intends to approve under the pretext of “democracy”, when at the same time in the workplaces the terrorism of the bosses rules supreme, the danger of layoffs for participating in a demonstration is imminent, especially in conditions where unemployment looms reaching particularly high rates.
“We are witnessing a competition between SYRIZA and ND on who can better implement a policy which is against the biggest achievement of the working class, the right to strike, to struggle, to claim her rights” said Giannis Giokas, KKE MP and member of the Party’s Central Committee, during a radio interview. 
PM Alexis Tsipras with opposition
leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
Giokas also underlined that, in fact, the amendment prohibits the workers’ right to strike at primary union level where employers’ terrorism has created a condition of labour jungle. 
Talking during a live TV program, the KKE politburo member Nikos Sofianos underlined that “this government does the dirty job that even New Democracy couldn’t dare to do” and added: “On Monday night, SYRIZA, ND and other parties will vote together the bill which abolishes the right to strike”. 
Calling the people to participate in the strike of January 12th, as well as in other militant activities against the new laws, Sofianos said that “the government sows the wind and will reap the whirlwind, as far as it carries out a series of ‘contracts’, putting the people against the wall in collaboration with the EU and the industrialists”. 
“Hands Off the Right of Strike”: PAME unionists and workers stormed the Ministry of Labour in Athens
| January 9, 2018 | 9:04 pm | Greece, Labor, PAME | No comments

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

“Hands Off the Right of Strike”: PAME unionists and workers stormed the Ministry of Labour in Athens
A strong message to the SYRIZA-ANEL coalition government was sent by trade unionists and workers who broke into the Ministry of Labour, after a request to meet with officials was turned down. 
The mobilization of numerous labour and workers’ unions and associations began at Omonoia square in downtown Athens on Tuesday morning and ended at the Ministry of Labour where members of PAME unfolded a huge banner with the slogan “Government-big capital-EU, pay attention: Get your dirty hands off the strike. It is a workers’ right”. 
When the demonstration arrived at the Labour Ministry, the representatives of the workers asked for a meeting with the Minister Effie Achtsioglou. The Ministry declined to answer and the workers opened the metal shutters of the building in, racing up to the eighth floor of the building. 
Keeping a defiant stance, Minister Effie Achtsioglou (left)
argues with trade unionists and workers in her office.
Representatives of PAME and other trade unions confronted Minister Achtsioglou and other officials, demanding the immediate withdrawal of the new ombibus bill which includes amendment that restricts significantly the right of strike. 
The workers said that the right of strike has been a very important conquest of the working class which was achieved through difficult and continuous struggles. 
Minister Achtsioglou kept an unacceptably defiant stance responding with a plain “no” to the demands of the trade unionists and denied to respond to a series of issues set by PAME members. 
“We will not let them to do it” said the President of the Pensioner’s Federation Dimos Koumpouris and added: “We will continue our struggle in every way”. 
The All-Workers Militant Front (PAME) have called workers, youth, pensioners, the unemployed, farmers, the self-employed, all the people to massive, militant action in response to the new antipeople-antiworkers measures of the government. A strike has been scheduled for Friday 12 January. 

Workers in Greece respond with new nationwide strike to the antipeople policy of SYRIZA government
| January 4, 2018 | 7:18 pm | Greece, Labor, PAME, Syriza | No comments

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Workers in Greece respond with new nationwide strike to the antipeople policy of SYRIZA government
The Greek Government of SYRIZA (which is in alliance with the far-right ANEL party) prepares the escalation of the attack against the workers and the popular strata of Greece.
The last memorandum with its new prerequisites leads to a new round of attack against the life of the working-people families, as over the next few months the government is to complete a massive amount of anti-peoples’ measures so as to declare the supposed “end of the memorandums”. Measures already agreed with the EU-IMF-ECB and which are demanded by the industrialists, ship-owners, the bankers etc, since they serve their competitiveness and profits.
The “end of the memorandums” described by the government, is based on the countless antiworkers laws of the previous years that have come to stay, as well as on the continuous measures that the SYRIZA-ANEL government carries out every three months. The “end of the memorandums” which the government declares in its fiestas across Greece are empty words, with only purpose to put the workers to sleep.
The recovery of the economy promised by the government means further intensification of the exploitation to create attractive environment for all kinds of “investors”.
As much as the government claims that there is “light in the end of the tunnel” for the people, reality denies it. Their plans to ban the right to go on strike, to mute every voice that complains, demands and struggles, only confirms the commitments that the Government has made to the industrialists, the shipowners, the big business groups.
Antiworkers measures and oppression go hand in hand!
The imposition of anti-peoples’ policies goes hand in hand with the intensification of authoritarianism and repression. They try to stop the struggles of the working class. They want to raise obstacles and put restrictions on trade union action of the workers. They want to put their hands on the unions.
With a recent government law, the action of those who resist auctions (the confiscation of indebted workers’ houses by the banks), those who protest, those who are trying to prevent this injustice, is criminalized, as the struggle to protect the workers’ homea is considered a felony!
This is a decisive step for the complete elimination of the strike right, when already under the current legislation framework, today in Greece 90% of the strikes are called illegal and abusive. The aim of the Government is to weaken and disarm the workers’ movement, the trade unions, to deliver the workers slaves and disorganized to the appetites of the business groups.
The government chooses to strike the working class at the primary level of organization, within the enterprise, the factory, where intimidations are stronger with threats and pressures. Inside where the exploitation is born, the area that is the source of profitability.
The right to strike is non-negotiable! Our class has conquered it with countless sacrifices and blood! We will not allow to anyone to touch it!
Behind the smiles of PM Alexis Tsipras and
Minister of Labour Effie Achtsioglou, a fierce
attack on workers’ rights is underway.
The last developments also revealed the black coalition of the Greek government and the capitalists with certain forces within the trade unions. In the proposal of PAME for workers’ response to the new measures with National General Strike, the GSEE and ADEDY (members of ETUC in Greece) refused!
The same forces made whatever they could a few weeks before to undermine the General Strike of December 14. They do everything to prevent the organization of demands in the workplace. They cultivate defeatism and send the workers away from the trade unions.
With their attitude, they not only help and support the government, by giving space and time for a series of reactionary, anti-workers’ reforms to pass without resistance, but they also prove their full agreement and identification, to the demands of the industrialists and the big capitalists, their alliance with all the parties that support the system of exploitation.
We call the workers and their unions to take the situation in their hands. To strengthen the struggle, with action and initiatives in the industries and the workplaces. To strengthen mass procedures, their General Assemblies, meetings.
We call on the Regional Labor Centers and the National Federations to take decisions for General Strike when the government brings bil with the antiworkers measures to the Parliament.
We are fighting and demanding
The reestablishment of minimum wage on the levels it was before. The reestablishment of Sectoral and Branch Level Collective Contracts. Increases in wages, pensions and social benefits, to recover the losses, and basic needs.
To put an end to all antiworkers’ laws and measures, the memorandums.
No house of working-class families falls into the hands of a banker.
Stop constant taxing
We are fighting because we have to defend our only weapon, our right to strike, organization, collective struggle and action.
We fight because we do not tolerate employers’ intimidations and repression in the workplace!
We fight to strengthen the struggles against privatizations, against the delivery of public wealth to business groups.
Every factory and place of work, each neighborhood to become the core of action and resistance, so that not only the new measures will not pass, but also with our struggle the previous ones to be abolished.
No worker, no unemployed person should be fooled and believe that the attack will stop, that someone else will stop it for us. Only the organized class struggle of the working people can overturn this situation.
We have the power, the right! Everybody in the fight!
“Message for the struggle’s escalation” – Militant strike mobilization in Greece against antiworkers policies

Thursday, December 14, 2017

“Message for the struggle’s escalation” – Militant strike mobilization in Greece against antiworkers policies
A message for the escalation of struggle against the antipeople-antiworkers policies of the SYRIZA coalition government was today’s militant strike mobilizations across Greece.
In Athens, the organised by the All-Workers Militant Front (PAME), demonstration began at Omonoia Square and through the city center passed towards the U.S. embassy, as a symbolic action against the recent Trump’s decision on Jerusalem.
The Secretary General of the Communist Party of Greece, Dimitris Koutsoumbas, attended the Athens demonstration.
From very early in the morning, thousands of workers began the organization of the strike by guarding labor places against strikebreaking mechanisms. In the northern city of Ioannina, following orders of a super market chain’s employer, security guards attacked strikers.
Except from Athens, militant rallies were held in Greece’s major cities, including Thessaloniki, Patras, Kavala, Kozani and elsewhere. Below you can see photos from today’s mobilization in Athens, as they were published at portal.
Trump’s Jerusalem Statement is a Declaration of War

December 9, 2017

Trump’s Jerusalem Statement is a Declaration of War

The Communist Party of Canada condemns the statement by US President Trump, declaring US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and directing the US Embassy to move to Jerusalem from its present location in Tel Aviv.

The US statement is a declaration of war on the Palestinian people, and complete support and endorsement of the Zionist and expansionist policies of the Israeli government, including expansion of the illegal Israeli settlements, the continuing illegal blockade of Gaza, and the imprisonment and torture of Palestinian people fighting to protect their land and national sovereignty.

The US actions have not only ended the peace process, flying in the face of UN resolutions aimed to find a peaceful political solution, but the US has declared war on all the progressive peoples and states of the Middle East who seek peaceful political solutions to complex political problems in the region.  Trump’s actions are an endorsement of Israeli militarism and aggression against the Palestinians, and others in the Middle East.

Trump’s actions are a threat to global peace and security, because of his actions in the Middle East, because of his actions and threats to DPRK, to Syria, to Venezuela, to Cuba, and because of his administration’s decisions to abandon the UN and assign itself to the role of the world’s policeman.

This is the road to calamity and global destruction.

We call on the government of Canada, and the UN to clearly and unequivocally condemn this latest US provocation and act of war, and to take immediate action to reaffirm UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338 calling for the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as the capital, based on the 1967 boundaries, and guaranteeing the right of return to Palestinians now living abroad, which is the internationally recognized framework for a peaceful political solution.

We further call on the labour and democratic movements in Canada to oppose Trump’s criminal acts of war, to demand their retraction, and to step up the campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, pending the ending of the occupation, the dismantlement of the “security” wall, full equality for Arab Palestinian Israelis and the realization of the rights of refugees including the right to return.

The Communist Party of Canada will continue to support the just cause of the Palestinian People for sovereignty and independence in their homeland, free from Israeli and US aggression and expansionism.  Their brave resistance is supported by all who value peace, democracy and sovereignty in the Middle East.

Central Executive Committee, Communist Party of Canada

Greece: Everyone in the strike of December 14th – Le 14 décembre tous à la grève partout!
| December 12, 2017 | 8:04 pm | Announcements, Labor, PAME, Syriza | No comments

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Greece: Everyone in the strike of December 14th – Le 14 décembre tous à la grève partout!
All in the strike rallies in all cities! We fight back!
Let’s give a militant response to the new measures of impoverishment of the working people!
The positive climate that the government of SYRIZA – ANEL is trying to cultivate all along this time through the tale of the “just development” does not contain anything positive for the working people, since a new wave of anti-popular measures is being planned. The “just development” that the government promotes and defends, means further assault on the life of the working-people family with further abolition of rights and advances.

The measures of the 3rd IMF-EU-ECB assessment, which are preparing to implement silently, among the dirt and scandals that are rising to conceal the new attack, target “workers” matters with new cuts in pensions and social benefits, the launch of electronic auctions for the “red” loans to banks.
At the same time, the data contained in the new budget plan show what it means for the workers the promotion of the measures for the recovery of the profits of business groups. The swelling of the primary surpluses means further intensification of the exploitation for the workers. The final draft budget provides new privileges and bonuses for monopoly groups with “hot” money but also an extra blow to the workers-popular income, with the escalation of “tax-grabbing” and cuts, seizures and auctions, privatizations.
At the same time, the SYRIZA – ANEL government is preparing to make real a constant longing of big employers and to give another serious blow to the workers’ trade union movement, by attacking the organization of workers’ struggles and demands, by giving a blow to the right to strike and to trade union action, to organization and action of workers.
The SYRIZA-ANEL government in these circumstances strengthens the repression and authoritarianism against worker-popular protests. Supermarket workers in Ioannina, students and workers outside the Ministry of Education, as well as protesters against bank seizures were persecuted, arrested, they received violent repression and chemicals.
Enough with the lies, the delusions, the meagre life!
We take the case of organizing the fight and the success of the strike in our hands. We send away the compromised and sell-out union leaderships that have neither the will nor the orientation to organize a movement against the demands of business groups, competitiveness, the measures that support the profitability of monopolies.
We call on the trade unions to make decisions to participate, to organize meetings, discussions in the workplace, to make decisions in the industries, in the factories.
We call on workers to respond to the anti-popular agreements, to the new bankruptcy plans for workers. To take part massively in strike rallies addressed by PAME in all cities, on December 14th.
We demand to:
• Sign a National General Collective Agreement and restore with law the salary of 751 euros for those paid with the basic salary as the minimum basis for increases in the lower salary. Lower wage at 33.57 euros.
• Abolish with law the humiliating salaries of hunger of € 586 and € 511, and no worker to take less than € 751.
• Restore Sectoral Agreements.
• Immediately abolish all anti-workers laws that crash the Collective Agreements. Collective Agreements that apply to all and be obligatory. Implementation of the continuing effect until the signing of a new Collective Agreement without any time restriction.
• No to the anti-workers changes that impede the functioning of trade unions, which obstruct the proclamation of strikes and the development of workers’ struggles and demands.
• Tax-free limit per person of 20,000 euros, plus 5,000 euros for each child. Remove ENFIA (the tax for residence) and all the extra taxes.
• Prohibition of auctions for the working-popular family. No house in the hands of a banker!
* * *
PAME:  Le 14 décembre tous à la grève partout!
Passons à la contre-offensive!
Donnons une réponse combative et militante aux nouvelles mesures d’appauvrissement des travailleurs !
L’ambiance «bon enfant» que le gouvernement de SYRIZA et d’ANEL entretient ces derniers mois avec son conte de fées sur la «croissance juste», n’apporte rien de bon pour les travailleurs, puisqu’une nouvelle vague de mesures est dans les plans. La «croissance juste», mise en avant et défendue par le gouvernement, se traduit en une attaque plus intense à la vie des familles ouvrières et populaires avec davantage de suppression de droits et de conquêtes.
 Les mesures de la « 3ème évaluation» de l’économie grecque par le FMI, l’UE et la BCE visent le Code du travail avec de nouvelles coupes dans les pensions de retraite et les allocations sociaux. Les enchères électroniques pour les emprunts «rouges» aux banques y sont incluses aussi. Ces mesures sont préparées dans le silence absolu, dans l’odeur nauséabonde des scandales qui apparaissent ici et là pour dissimuler l’attaque.
 Dans le même moment, les chiffres présentés dans le projet de Budget pour 2018, illustrent en quoi se traduit pour les travailleurs l’implémentation des mesures visant la reprise des profits de grands groupes. Le gonflement des «excédents primaires» signifie l’intensification de l’exploitation des travailleurs. Le projet du Budget envisage encore de nouveaux privilèges et de nouveaux «cadeaux» aux grands groupes et une nouvelle attaque contre les revenus populaires-ouvriers, avec plus de taxes et de coupes, avec des confiscations et des ventes aux enchères, ainsi que des privatisations.
 Le gouvernement de SYRIZA-ANEL se prépare à réaliser encore une des vœux du patronat en portant encore un coup significatif au mouvement syndical ouvrier avec l’attaque contre l’organisation des luttes ouvrières et les revendications ouvrières, l’attaque contre la grève et l’action syndicale, contre l’organisation et l’action des travailleurs.
 Le gouvernement de SYRIZA-ANEL intensifie, dans ces conditions, la répression et l’autoritarisme contre les mobilisations ouvrières-populaires. Les travailleurs des supermarchés dans la ville d’Ioannina, les étudiants et les travailleurs aux logements étudiants devant le Ministère de l’Education ou encore ceux manifestant contre les confiscations des maisons par les banques, ils ont tous subi une violente répression avec des persécutions, des arrestations et des charges de la police anti-émeute.
 Ça suffit avec les mensonges et la vie «au minimum» !
 Nous prenons l’organisation de la lutte et la réussite de la grève entre nos mains. Nous mettons de côté les dirigeants syndicaux du compromis ou rachetés par le patronat, qui n’ont pas l’intention d’organiser le mouvement contre les exigences des grands groupes, contre la compétitivité et les mesures soutenant la rentabilité des monopoles.
Nous appelons les organisations syndicales à faire voter des résolutions de participation à la grève par branche et par usine, en organisant des assemblées générales et des discussions avec les travailleurs.
 Nous appelons les travailleurs à donner une réponse aux négociations contre le peuple et aux nouveaux plans d’appauvrissement des travailleurs. Nous les appelons à participer massivement aux rassemblements du PAME dans toute la Grèce, le 14 décembre.
 Nous exigeons:
  • Convention Collective Nationale et rétablissement, par loi, du SMIC à 751 euros comme la base de départ pour des augmentations au SMIC. Rémunération journalière minimale à 33,57 euros.
  • Suppression, par loi, des abominables salaires de faim de 586 et 511 euros. Aucun travailleur ne doit gagner moins que 751 euros par mois.
  • Rétablissement des accords de branche.
  • Suppression immédiate des toutes les lois contre les travailleurs qui écrasent les Conventions Collectives. Nous demandons que leur portée soit globale et que leur application devienne obligatoire pour tous les patrons. Extension indéfinie de la période de validité de l’accord après sa fin jusqu’à ce qu’un nouvel accord survienne.
  • Non aux changements anti-ouvriers limitant considérablement le fonctionnement des syndicats, qui entravent les grèves et le développement des luttes des travailleurs et celui de leurs revendications.
  • Abattement fiscal familial à 20.000 euros, augmenté de 5000 euros pour chaque enfant. Suppression de la taxe d’habitation (ENFIA) et d’autres taxes du même type.
  • Interdiction des ventes aux enchères portant sur les maisons des familles ouvrières-populaires. Aucune maison dans les mains des banquiers !
Drew Brees among Saints players to speak out on Thursday night games
| December 8, 2017 | 8:04 pm | Labor | No comments

Drew Brees among Saints players to speak out on Thursday night games

ATLANTA – Numerous members of the New Orleans Saints made it clear they are not fans of playing on Thursday night football.

And it would be hard to fault the players after they watched rookie running back Alvin Kamara (concussion), linebacker A.J. Klein (groin), guard Senio Kelemete (concussion), defensive lineman David Onyemata (undisclosed), rookie defensive end Trey Hendrickson (ankle) and safety Kenny Vaccaro (groin) not finish the game because of injuries.

Tight end Josh Hill, running back Mark Ingram, wide receiver Michael Thomas and wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. also missed some time after being checked out the medical staff.

Given all the injuries, it wasn’t surprising quarterback Drew Brees didn’t hold back when asked about playing after a short week of preparation.

“It’s 100 percent a product of playing on Thursday night,” Brees said. “You understand what guy’s bodies go through in a game, and then to turn around four days later and play a game?

“Look at the injury studies. They’re off the charts. Is this smart, as it pertains to guys’ health and safety? No, absolutely not.”

Players railing on Thursday night games isn’t new, but the voices around the league appear to grow louder after injuries, which are magnified because the game stands alone on national TV.

Left tackle Terron Armstead feels the NFL must take another look at the Thursday night matchups.

“From a player safety standpoint, that short rest, that short recovery from a Sunday NFL game is tough,” Armstead said. “It’s taxing on a body. That short turnaround, we have to check the analytics, those studies, those stats and see because we had quite a few guys go down today.”

Defensive tackle Tyeler Davison believes the NFL should also consider if the current format is smart.

Davison also didn’t mince words when asked what should be done about Thursday night games with player safety in mind.

“The people who decide whether or not we should do it are NFL owners who probably never played football at this level,” Davison said. “I feel like it’s hard for them to understand what you have to put your body through, and not only that but what the teams have to go through to get ready in that short amount of time.

“I feel like if they’re really interested in putting the best product on the field, then they should look at what they’re doing with these Thursday night games. On top of that, I just feel like it’s greedy.”

Punter Thomas Morstead, who serves as one of the Saints’ player representative for the NFLPA, points out the message from the NFL on player safety is “a little disingenuous” when it comes to the short week of preparation.

He also has a possible solution.

“To me, it’s very simple what they should do – they should remove a preseason game, have three preseason games,” Morstead said. “They should have an 18-week season, 16 games and every team should have a legitimate bye week and every team should have a half and half bye week.

“Half a bye week before a week of prep before a Thursday night game, and a half bye week at the end of the Thursday game, so when you play Sunday, you wouldn’t play for another 11 days.”

Meanwhile, the problem of Thursday night football games and the injuries won’t be going away anytime soon.

Brees, however, would like to see the discussions on how to improve player safety with the short week in mind continue during the offseason.

“I can sit here and tell you that no player likes putting himself at risk on four days’ rest to come and put their bodies through what they put them through in a game,” Brees said. “So you hope that it’s addressed, you hope that it’s talked about, and you hope that something is done about it.

“When you see guys go down, when you lose guys for what you think is unnecessary just because you put them at a much higher risk in such a quick turnaround, that gets you upset.”

There will be another opportunity for the players and the league to come together in the near future.

And Morstead believes the issue of Thursday night football games should be on the table when the NFL and NFLPA come together in 2021 to hammer out a new collective bargaining agreement.

“Obviously, we have a new CBA coming up in 2021 and I think that’s something the players should push for,” Morstad said. “It would be great for all teams, for ownership to have an extra week of regular-season football.

“And you would have a better quality of game overall on Thursday nights because you’d always have both teams rested. I just think it’s a no-brainer win-win for players, for ownership, for the league.”