Volos (central Greece): Text written by workers in METKA company

The working people in the industrial zone of Volos, we live for good the after-effects of the capitalist financial crisis and the antipopular attack of the IMF memorandum: Dismissals, shutdown of production units, violent reduction of wages. Facing this reality, even working people who have not yet received an attack to their rights, live under cinstant fear.

The organised syndicalist movement’s responsibility for the difficult point which the workers in this country have reached, is huge. We do not only refer to G.S.E.E. (General Confederation of Greek Workers)  which apart from just glancing at this anti-labour armageddon, it many times consents to parts of this attack, playing a government-friendly and bosses-friendly role (e.g. The signing of the National Collective Labour Agreement).

The depreciation of the workers’ syndicalism, is also part of some federations’ and first grade unions’ politics: They have denied for years to organize the most vulnerable parts of our class like those working with contractors, they close their eyes when it comes to “voluntary retirements”-dismissals, they sign for zero raises even in particularly gainful businesses, they ignore the problems of their colleagues in other factories and when the problem knocks our door it’s already late, they tolerate the everyday terror that the employers impose.

Unfortunately, for all of us who work there, a typical example of the unions’ decay, is the majority of the corporate union at METKA factory. The only victory for the workers in the last years, was the recall of three workers’ dismissals (K.B, B. K., A. P), after a long and wide struggle embraced by the local society. In this struggle, the union’s administration was not just absent but took the part of the bosses, something that even the two major syndicalist sides DAKE and PASKE (government parties syndicalists) accepted, and write off from their catalogues the president and the secretary of the union. Today, the Union’s administration goes on a move that intends to write us off the union. It is a move that reminds the era after the civil war or during the Junta, when one needed a certificate of political beliefs in order to be part of a trade union.

We call every class syndicalist and working people in the area, from every trade union or collective, and the administration of the EKB ( Volos Labour Centre) to adopt a stance. We call the two ruling syndicalist sides PASKE and DAKE, to stop playing hide and seek and to condemn every act that hits the fundamental values of the syndicalist action, like the freedom of speech and criticism, to write off and disqualify from every of their schemes, the members of the majority of our trade union.

Translator’s Note: METKA is a huge company of metal construction with various subsidiary companies. One of her duties is to construct parts of ammunition used by the Israeli army!  Some months ago, three of the workers – who had made an  autonomous union – were fired because of their reactions to the bosses’ plans. But the factory’s ”official” union , controlled by the two major political parties didn’t support them at all.  In Volos there were several demonstrations and strike safeguard at the factory, the whole case went to court, and at least the three workers were re-hired.  From that moment though, a war of nerves is taking place against the three workers, in order to make them want to leave. The last episode is the effort of the official union to strike them off their lists so as to make it easier for the bosses to fire them. Apart from any differences, our solidarity is given and necessary, since they move against a multinational bestiality, fighting for dignity.