Greek workers are on general strike on 26 September, in protest against the new round of cuts planned by the coalition government.
A number of strikes are ongoing. Nikos Fotopoulos, leader of the power workers’ union GENOP-DEH, has called for a rolling programme of repeated 24 hour strikes, with occupations of public buildings and permanent protest gatherings in public squares.
Working-class mobilisation is urgently needed not only to defeat the government’s measures, but also to stop the rise of the Golden Dawn fascists. Golden Dawn has risen since 17 June to between 9% and 12% in the polls; it is now ahead of Pasok, which got 44% in 2009.
DEA, one of the revolutionary socialist groups within Syriza, says: “Our response should be constructed on the widest front for anti-fascist action. The left parties and trade unions are unquestionably the backbone of this anti-fascist alliance. And at this point the responsibility on Syriza for massive initiatives is most crucial...”
Golden Dawn has set up Greek-only job centres, in central Greece for the factories in the area, in Pieria for the kiwi-fruit harvest, in Magnesia for various harvests.
Golden Dawn calls on employers “to take up their responsibilities towards the local communities and the national economy, preferring Greek workers” and on Greek workers to “treat any job offer with responsibility”, i.e. to accept any terms and conditions and not to unionise.
Golden Dawn does not place any requirements of compliance with labour legislation for the Greek workers that are hired, let alone any obligation for redundancy pay for the immigrant workers that would be unlawfully sacked.
Local trade unions should respond immediately by inspecting workplaces where labour law and workers’ rights have been violated, by supporting redundant workers regardless of their nationality, and by recruiting migrant workers into unions.
One union in Euboea and Boeotia has responded: “We are making clear to Golden Dawn that every single worker in our industry has no problem with our immigrant co-workers and class brothers. We have problems with our bosses, independent of their nationality, who have refused to pay us for one, two, three, four, five or even six months. The bosses who daily violate labor rights, apply 4 days work with reduced pay...”
Golden Dawn is also organising blood donations “for Greeks only”. One clinic in Thessaloniki has accepted these, saying that the donor signs a statement that the blood will be available to any patient in need and so Golden Dawn’s “for Greeks only” condition will not be met.
All hospital workers, with their unions, should fight today for free health care for all people and against racial discrimination.