Socialist Worker

Greek workers set for general strike

by Dave Sewell
Issue No. 2476

Striking public sector workers march through Athens earlier this year

Striking public sector workers march through Athens earlier this year (Pic: Workers Solidarity)


Unions in Greece have called a general strike on Thursday 12 November against an attack on pensions.

It is set to be the first general strike in almost a year involving the private sector union federation GSEE as well as the public sector ADEDY.

Port workers have also called a strike on Thursday of this week as part of three days of action against privatisation. Workers and supporters marched through the port town of Piraeus last week.

They aren’t the only workers who are angry.

Rank and file teachers went into a meeting between their union and the new minister for education last week. They stopped the meeting going ahead for several hours as they put their own demands to the minister.

Job cuts have created a severe teacher shortage in schools. Workers are considering strikes to demand more teachers are hired to fill the gaps.

Thousands of workers protested outside the Greek parliament earlier this month as MPs voted for left wing prime minister Alexis Tsipras’s new austerity programme.

Supporters of cuts hailed the vote as Tsipras passing his first major test since his re-election in September.

They hope that a left wing government could get away with passing on the cuts demanded by Greece’s creditors where right wing governments failed.

But Tsipras won the vote with just 154 MPs in a parliament of 300, as all opposition parties voted against his proposals.

The opposition from the neoliberal parties was opportunistic, but it shows the weakness of Tsipras’s position even before he has started making the cuts.

And the strike calls show that the workers who voted no to austerity in July’s referendum aren’t ready to say yes to it now.


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