…many thanks to Christos in London for the translation….
Janitors and Domestic Service Staff Union of Attiki
Statement / Press Release 25/12/2008e condemn the murder attempt against Constantina Kouneva, General Secretary of the Janitors Union
On Monday 22/12/08 around 12:10am Constantina Kuneva, the general secretary of the Janitors and Domestic Service Staff Union of Attiki, while on her way back from work, fell victim of a murderous attack by means of caustic acid. She is hospitalized in a critical condition in the intensive care unit of Evangelismos Hospital, having suffered major damage in her eyes and face, that resulted in the loss of her sight of one eye. Furthermore she is bound to suffer permanent damages on othervital internal organs and her life itself is under risk.
Constantina is a woman, a mother of one adolescent child, a worker, a syndicalist and an immigrant. Despite all these, she wanted and insisted on being a true syndicalist that fought for workers rights. Such kind of arrogance could not be accepted. She should be targeted and punished!!
Constantina and the Janitors Union has been trying and insisting over the past few years to pull down the curtain and disclose everything that is hidden behind the sub-contraction of services, especially in the public sector. Silence!! The state is sleeping and it doesn’t understand. The management of institutions, companies, hospitals are sleeping and they do not understand! The official trade unionism does not understand.
Every day small and big crimes occur, human rights are breached, human dignity… no one understands. The minister, the hospital’s manager, the president of the institution they answer in chorus: “I do not care”. But they breach all workers rights; they do not pay us our social service contribution; they do not pay us for the hours we work; they force us to sign in blank papers with wages that they never paid us; we sign when first hired for our deliberate redundancy of the future; they register fake working hours; they do not pay us our overtime work; they do not pay their contributions for our health-risky job; and therefore we never substantiate the right to pension; they exercise on us psychological violence by threatening us with lay offs and ‘black lists’. They organize yellow unions in order us to be represented by staff managers and those obedient to the contractors.
We have been stating all these everyday to the working conditions’ watchdog – the Labour Inspection service – , to the Social Security, to the highest trade union bodies. We have been trying by legal actions, as a group and individually. We ask information regarding our working relations and agreements and they claim that these are personal data!! When we do manage at last, after many efforts, to reach the ministry’s officials, in order to ask for the application of the law and for the change of the legal framework that permits mafia practices to prevail in public and private companies, they do not understand either, even if we reveal, in vain, to the ministers that the same practices occur in the sub-contraction of cleaning services in their very own ministry!! We face the same more or less treatment by SEPE and KEPEK, which we address, asking to inspect our working places. A huge file has been created by our actions against the criminal behaviour of our employers, which have been made public through the media. Everyone’s virtual answer remains the same: WE DO NOT CARE!!
How is this possible? How can it be that within your ministry, in your hospital, in the HSAP (Athen’s Metro) where Constantina worked… not even these semi-laws and regulations are followed, but instead you tolerate the black holes of the contractors? Their response is disarming! “We subcontract and pay the contractors for cleaning services. Who they employ, how do they work, it is their own business, we do not care.” Constantina stood face to face with this regime, and this is the reason they gave her such an appalling answer!!
Constantina is in danger. She has been now in intensive care and no measures have been taken yet to find the perpetrators of the attack! They would try once more to answer, “we do not care”. But we will insist and we will pull down the curtain as many times as it gets in order to reveal everything they try to hide.
They tried to kill Constantina. AND WE DO CARE!!!
We call all the employees, Greeks and Migrants, the youth that has taken the streets, every honest woman/man with dignity in solidarity and support. Lets reveal the moral and physical executors behind Constantina’s assassination attempt.
Lets reveal all those that kill us everyday, because all of us, Greeks and Migrants, DO CARE!!
We call the government to stand to its responsibilities:
– To find and reveal the perpetrators now.
– To impose working rights and break down the ghettos of the cleaning contractors.
– To get rid off the slave trade contractors in the ministries and any public service.
– We call all trade unions, any organization and the employees in the Media to active solidarity.
The revelation of this appalling crime is a debt of honor for every civilized human being.
SILENCE IS COLABORATION!!
Janitors and Domestic Service Staff Union of Attiki
THΛ 2108221083 – 6978844725 – 6978865730
Bank Account for donations to the family of Constantina Kouneva.
Τράπεζα Πειραιώς (Trapeza Piraeus) / Bank of Piraeus
DECHEVA ELENA TODOR
Read more about K.Kuneva’s story here