Socialist Worker

Port workers in Greece lead resistance to stop selloffs after new bailout blackmail

by Dave Sewell
Issue No. 2506

Striking dock workers protest last week

Striking dock workers protest last week (Pic: Workers' Solidarity)


Workers at the Greek port of Piraeus near Athens struck for two days last week against privatisation.

Railway workers and Athens Metro workers struck for five hours on Thursday of last week. Bus workers are expected to coordinate with the next walkouts.

Some £40 billion of state assets are to be privatised. This is part of the bailout programme imposed on Greece by the European Union (EU) and International Monetary Fund (IMF).

These assets are part of an “independent” fund run by Greece’s creditors—not its elected government.

The selloffs come with attacks on trade unions’ right to organise.

And they undervalue assets that bosses can then make a mint out of.

Piraeus and the railway linked to it are one of the most important routes into Europe for cargo from China.

The EU and IMF agreed to release the latest instalment of Greece’s bailout last week, after the Greek parliament passed the fund and other measures.

Left party Syriza heads the Greek government.

It was already behind in paying its workers’ wages before these latest attacks.

And payment deadlines in July mean the money will go straight back to the IMF and European Central Bank.

Meanwhile school workers and hospital workers across Greece plan to strike on Wednesday of next week over the effects of previous austerity packages.

They want more staff to fill the gaping holes left by cuts.


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