Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Greece: Armed bodyguards and terrorism deployed by employers at workers' congress

On Saturday, February 23, was to take place the Congress of the National Federation of Private Employees of Greece (OIYE) in Athens.

A Congress about which there were hundreds of official complaints and unions’ denunciations about election fraud, intimidations and direct intervention of employers, especially by the big Super Market owners, so as them to control the Federation. In addition the President of the Federation, Mr. Karageorgopoulos, is himself an employer, President and CEO of the limited company “PEGASUS FORTUNA GAMING S.A”.
In order to have a “Congress” of Employers as representatives of the workers, the leadership of the Federation and the President Karageorgopoulos, used ARMED GOONS, CRIMINAL THUGS,EMPLOYERS’ BODYGUARDS, to control the entrances and did “face-control” to the real workers’ delegates. 

(Photos of some of the GOONS within the Congress: https://www.flickr.com/photos/141955787@N05/albums/72157705507413721)
In this attempt the goons attacked and hit the Board-Member of the Athens Regional Trade Union Center, member of the Executive Secretariat of PAME, Nikos Mavrokefalos, who was transferred to the hospital with severe head injury.
Against this situation of fear and intimidation the delegates of class unions’, with massive and decisive demonstration at the Congress venue, forced the thugs toleave the Congress and demanded the Congress works to start with only the presence of workers.
Video of the Demonstration of the Class Unions:
After their attempt to impose the employers’ presence in the Congress failed, the employer-“unionist” President of the Federation and its leadership blocked all Congress procedures and sued the Unionists who opposed them demanding compensation of €100.000.
The delegates of the congress made parody of the fraud elections used by the Federation’s leadership and the fake-delegates (=monkey in Greek) with workers dressed as monkeys. The Unions also raised a banner saying “OIYE is an S.A.- Unions belong to the Workers Not to the Employers”.

(See here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/141955787@N05/albums/72157705557052671)
In a Press Release, the All-Workers Militant Front (PAME) stated:
“The OIYE Federation leadership (unionists who are coming from the parties of PASOK, ND and SYRIZA) did not allow the works of its Congress.
Instead of a Congress of real delegates, elected by real workers who came from all over the country to discuss workers’ problems and the organization of their struggle, the OIYE leadership not only did they try to legitimize monkey-representatives, managers and employers, who were pretending to be workers, but tried to impose them with armed gunmen, personsof the night and criminals, who did not hesitate to hit representatives of Trade Unions.
The Greek Government bears great responsibilities, because after the presence of
Riot Police in the Congress of Regional Trade Unions (ex Katerini) and the presence of undercover police agents at the Congress of the Thessaloniki Regional Trade Union Center, they also sent police forces to the Congress of the OIYE Federation, which forces however, did not do anything at all even after official complaints about the presence of armed goons.
We call on all Trade Unions, the working class, to stop those who want to turn the workers’ movement into a tool of the industrialists, the shipowners, the big commerce corporations and the bankers.