The developments in the Greek Trade Union movement and the negative role of GSEE
The last years the workers in Greece
have faced an extremely brutal attack from employers, governments,
The consequences of this attack have resulted in wage cuts,
abolition of rights, attacks against the collective organization of
workers so that they will be easily exploitable by the bosses.
Against this attack the workers had an
important weapon of resistance PAME, the class unions of Greece.
Those trade unions, that since the first day were at the forefront of
the struggle, of information, organization and mobilization of the
working class against the anti-workers hurricane that was being
At the same time, however, the working
class was carrying the wounds and the burdens of the trade union
forces of class collaboration. Forces that are the representatives of
the employers and the governments within the trade union movement.
Trade unionists who are themselves, employers, business executives,
human resources managers, etc.
Characteristic is the example of the
GSEE, the ETUC affiliate in Greece.
In 2012, the GSEE co-signed the
abolition of collective bargaining and a 32% reduction in minimum
wage (from 751€ they agreed to reduce the salary to 586€, while
for workers under 25 years old the minimum wage was established even
lower, at 511€). At the same time, it divided workers into old and
young, not only with the under-minimum wage, but also by accepting
flexible working relations, outsourcing, etc
But in order not to make a big report,
we will only give a few examples of what they have done during the
In January 2018, at the same time that
the SYRIZA-ANEL government legislated against the workers’ right to
strike, the GSEE leadership (social democrats and liberals and trade
unionists from the party of SYRIZA which is in government) they said
there was no reason to mobilize.
At the same time, dozens of trade
unions in Greece made a formal complaint that a member of the GSEE
General Council, who is also the Head of Public Relations Office of
GSEE and the in leadership of UNI Gaming, is himself an employer.
More specifically, he is the chairman and CEO of the company under
the name «PIGASOS FORTUNA GAMING SA». Despite the dozens official
complaints by trade unions in Greece and press reports about the
issue, the GSEE leadership still maintains in its ranks a well-known
At the same time, in an attempt to hide
the huge decrease in membership it has suffered in recent years, they
proceeded to provocative election fraud in a number of trade union
organizations, so as to be able to present workers participation.
They basically create ghost-votes, fixed elections, mechanisms to
produce fake representatives. At the same time, they seeks to silence
any voice that reveals the anti-workers’ tactics of the leadership
and the election-fraud that is taking place. Some examples
City of PATRAS – The above mentioned
capitalist – «trade unionist» of the GSEE leadership was
denounced and rejected by the Regional Trade Union Center because in
order to present votes for a small local trade union of the city and
be elected as a representative, he traveled across Greece for 4
months and finally brought back …garbage bags with thousands of
«ballots» to be counted as votes!
City of KATERINI – The chairman of
the local Regional Trade Union Center decided on her own, without any
right or legality, to exclude from the local congress six elected
delegates who complained of irregularities in the process of electing
delegates for the Regional Trade Union Congress. When, because of
this, the workers in the area rose and protested by demanding a
workers’ Congress clean, without false delegates, the president
called on the police to keep the workers away from the Congress!!!
When this plan also failed, they tried to organize “Congress
Elections” in secret with the help of the local Mayor (member of
the ND Liberal Party), in the basement of the City Hall. This way the
Congress Elections took place by informing in secret only specific
persons of the GSEE mechanism to vote.
SUPERMARKETS – SYRIZA’s trade
unionists, together with the capitalist owners of big supermarket
organize trade union elections together. In a Union that has no
substance, no action, not even offices. But with extortion and
threats from the managers in the supermarkets they force workers to
vote as their representatives, their bosses!!! The leaders in this
process are SYRIZA’s trade unionists.
All this, and even more, go along with
the following published facts:
Only for 2018 the GSEE Institute of
Labor received state funding of …
Only for 2018 the GSEE Education Center
received state funding of …
At the same time,
GSEE receives almost half a million
euros of state funding each month!
With all this money and resources at
its disposal, GSEE in 2018 was preparing for 6 months a major
mobilization for May 30, 2018. The result was to mobilise….92
In the great strikes of COSCO
dockworkers, the previous months GSEE was nowhere to be seen,
non-existent, as it has disappeared altogether from the struggles of
the workers of Greece.
After all this, we think are clear the
reasons why GSEE refused to call for a Strike for November, despite
the fact that dozens of National Workers Federations and Regional
Trade Union Centers all over Greece are already fighting for its
Archive Photo: Demonstration organized by PAME during a nationwide strike.
This situation, with small differences,
is the same across Europe. Corrupted, bureaucratic trade unions that
cultivate class collaboration. They work for the bosses, not for the
We are clear. We support and encourage
healthy processes within the trade unions. We support and encourage
the participation of workers and their efforts to control themselves
their own unions, not the employers with their fraud mechanisms.
Regardless of each person’s beliefs and which line each one follows
in the movement – this is a matter of ideological struggle, which
we want and participate in it till the end – but trade unions must
to belong to the workers and they must be those who form any
correlations. Not some mechanisms, aliens to the body of the working
This is a struggle for the workers’
trade union movement to escape from the dangerous hands of the
employers and their state. We call on all workers. The outcome of
this struggle concerns the entire working class.