Saturday, 21 July 2012
Kouvelis-Democratic Left (ex-Syriza) sends in Riot Police to Break Steelworkers Strike
In what are disgusting scenes the forces of the fake left in Greece have entered a new stage in their dispicable alliance with the IMF inside and outside Parliament in destroying workers conditions.
The 9th month strike of the Steelworkers of Manesis factory on the outskirts of Athens has been broken by the intervenion of a Public Prosecutor who deemed the strike illegal and ordered the police to break up the picket line and open it up. The Democratic Left has key appointments in the Ministry of Labour and they oversaw this process. Until only recently they were one of the factions that made up Syriza. Now they are implementing the pro-Maastricht policies they all jointly voted for in 1992.
Having kept the strike isolated and going on for 9 months whose purpose is to sap and destroy the energy of the workers there so they split and demand their 'return to work' which a few did, thus provoking the latest attempt at breaking the strike, the KKE is now calling for the rest of the labour movement to defend the sacked steelworkers. For over two years alongside the Greek TUC-GSEE they have supported the maximum of 48hour strikes and always marching on their own and inventing a new area to disperse, around Akropolis. Here though we have the KKE acting allegedly in ultra-militant fashion supporting an 'indefinite strike'. But is it thus?
As Manesis has more than one factory and as the main cause of the strike was the attempt to impose a 4hour day and maximum E450 a month salaray, the factory in Athens which employed predominantly Greeks walked out. They attempted a few times to shut down the factory in Volos (which employs 'class brothers' as the KKE now openly refers to illegal immigrant scabs) in such a manner where the controlled the events and ensured there was no conflict, ie allowing the police to run the show and they being a second line of police against the strikers. This local policy is reflected on a national level when they sent all their organised forces early one morning to defend Parliament as the second wave of IMF cuts were going through back in October 2011.
Having failed to shut down the Volos factory they continued with the Athens strike up until workers there would be fed up. By allowing the factory in Volos to continue Manesis increased his production and covered a section of the losses of production in Athens. This was well known. The emphasis therefore should have been to shut that factory down at all costs. The only strike that is illegal is one that loses. Having divided the workforce they had a golden opportuinity this week to occupy the factory, thus forcing the riot police to storm them out. When another factory in Thessalonika was occuppied the KKE refuse to follow this direct action path. Instead they were 'caught off guard' and riot police broke the small picket line at 5a am on 20th July.
One must take into account the KKE's fake left workers slogan 'Worker nothing turns without your Hands' didn't obviously apply to this concrete situation. Why didn't they occupy the factory? They would have been confronted with running it, being taken to court by they owner, so they preferred now to be on the outside looking in.
On 20th July then called for an early lunchtime demo and another the following day in the afternnoon. The demos were tiimed thus that they were over before they started, and the main thouroughfare wasn't closed. They dont want workers discussing any different strategy than theirs nor do they want to win this strike. Aound 5,000 people turned up to the demos.
They have now called for the rest of the labour movement to participate and Syriza has said they will support the demo in central Athens on the issue for the following Monday. The government is producing propaganda showing that Syriza-KKE-Golden Dawn all support the strikes as they have spoken at their meetings or handed food parcels to them, under the explanation that the government wants people to get back to work whilst they want people unemployed...
An Undeclared Popular Front.
With the Democratic Left in the Greek Labour Ministry the IMF led government continues apace in its rapacious attacks against Greek workes in an unscripted alliance with those who aren't in government Syriza-KKE. This strike is a precursor of things to come when the wholescale privatisation of the public sector starts which Kouvelis stated would happen post-haste by Xmas.