“They steal our rights; we must fight for our future” Almost two years have passed from the enactment of the first Memorandum between the Greek government and the IMF-EC-ECB troika in Greece. According to the latest official figures from Eurostat, half …

Walton Pantland

“They steal our rights; we must fight for our future”

Almost two years have passed from the enactment of the first Memorandum between the Greek government and the IMF-EC-ECB troika in Greece. According to the latest official figures from Eurostat, half the young (under 25) are unemployed (50.4%) while the total unemployment rate reaches 21%. We know that, as in all official statistics, in fact the percentages are much higher. And all these measures are supposedly taken in order for the Greek debt to reach 120% of GDP in 2020; but that was the Greek debt before the introduction of the IMF in Greece!

The enactment and implementation of the two Memoranda introduced fully labour flexibility for all employees. After the virtual abolishment of all collective bargaining in recent months, the majority of new employment represents part-time contracts, while very quickly all full-time contracts are converted into part-time contracts and job rotation. But even this is not the worse, since the uninsured workers, according to official figures, are as high as 33.3%!

Today in Greece, the majority of both employed and unemployed are forced to live on 480 euros/month (the newly cut net minimum wage) and 360 euros/month (the newly cut unemployment benefit) respectively, while the cost of living is among the highest in Europe. For young people who are under 25 the new net minimum wage fell to 426 euros/month!

It is worth mentioning that while the world of labour sinks in misery, the company tax drops to 20%, the banks have already been given 160 billion euros, the VAT on basic consumer goods has increased again and a new attack occurs on the incomes of workers through the tax system, which becomes increasingly unjust as it eliminated the remaining tax reliefs (for example the reduced VAT for the islands), while there are important business sectors such as tourism that see their profits soar.

Against all this, the world of labour can give its answer only through the collective struggle to overturn them. As a network of precarious workers and unemployed we aim at ensuring that not one worker or unemployed person be alone in front of austerity and the employers’ arbitrariness. We favor collective action and self-organization and we aim for the development of a precarious workers and unemployed movement on the basis of common needs. In this context, we struggle to overturn the austerity policies, we participate and we support initiatives and projects of active and practical solidarity.

We demand decent unemployment benefits, free healthcare, free use of urban and intercity transportation, relief of the unemployed from municipal taxes, permanent and stable work for everyone with dignity.

No sacrifice for their competitiveness and profits!

Make the crisis our opportunity for subversion!


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Walton Pantland

South African trade unionist living in Glasgow. Loves whisky, wine, running and the great outdoors. Walton did an MA in Industrial Relations at Ruskin, Oxford, and is interested in how trade unions use new technology to organise.

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