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Friday, March 15, 2019

Workers storm, interrupt event of the reformist Greek General Confederation of Labour (GSEE)

Under the slogan "Unions of workers, not employers", workers stormed and interrupted a "fiesta"-event organized by Greece's General Confederation of Labour (GSEE) which was taking place at the Kalamata Dance Hall, on Thursday evening. The GSEE event was due to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Confederation.

As 902.gr portal reported, the workers and trade unionists, holding banners and shouting slogans, entered the hall where the event was taking place. They lamented the reformist leadership of the GSEE, shouting slogans such as "Class based Trade Unions, without employers", "Trade Union leaders strike-breakers, the workers have turned their backs at you".

Workers, members of the All-Workers Militant Front (PAME) unfolded banners inside the hall; one of them writing: "The 100 years of the labour movement belong to those who fought and gave their lives to the working class. Trade Unions of workers, not employers", while a second one was depicting  the murdered dockworkers of the May 1934 strike at Kalamata's port. 

One of the protesting workers, a cleaning lady from Piraeus, stepped up to the podium and, within a few phrases, she delivered the actual meaning of the history of the working class movement. 


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"My name is Karamaliki Christina - she said- I'm a cleaner in Piraeus and I don't smile at all while my wage is crumbs and I must grovel to the employer [...] We know very well that in the labour places there is slaughter in our salaries and rights. You pretend that nothing is happening, ignoring the sufferings of the working people. Dirt, stench and your high salaries do not allow you to care about the real problems of the workers, as long as many of you are employers yourselves".

Due to the intervention of the workers, the leadership of GSEE, including president Giannis Panagopoulos, was forced to leave the hall. 



PAME denounces the event-"fiesta" of GSEE

In a statement issued on Thursday late evening, the All-Workers Militant Front (PAME) denounces the "fiesta" of GSEE in Kalamata. 

Among other things, the statement points out the following:

"We denounce the majority of the GSEE which, on the occasion of the 100 years of the workers' movement, tried to stain the history of our class, to desecrate the memory of the workers who gave their lives in the struggle against our exploiters, by organizing a- closed doors- event with security personnel and hencemen. The fact that the GSEE tried to organized an event far from the workers, shows their downfall.

PAME also states that "today they got the message that a congress with employers, fake conventioneers and non existing trade unions, is not going to take place!".


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