Migration and Struggle in Greece

Fishworkers’ strike: An effective response to strikebreaking

Posted by clandestina on 29 March 2010

An effective response to strikebreaking

Michaniona vessel bosses attempted yesterday, March 28, to transfer 12 Egyptian fishworkers from Keratsini, Athens, to Thessaloniki, on a bus. After dealing with the confusion of contradictory information, the fishworkers at Michaniona made this known and the mobilization that followed prevented the bosses’ plan from materializing.

Since early people had started gathering at the Thessaloniki bus station, train station and at other terminal stations so that to obstruct scabs’ arrival. Members of the PAME, the Solidarity Assembly and other groups were checking and controling those spots in parallel with the strikers who kept arriving from Michaniona. Late at night, the bulk of people gathered at the central bus station, which was thought as the most probable spot the scabs to arrive at; both other spots were kept constantly under control, though.

At 2 a.m. the bus arrived and the “dialogue” between the strikers and the would-be scabs concluded with the latter going to a place of reception for some time under the surveillance of strikers and stay there until they got the first bus back to Athens. The excuse they used was that they were not aware they would work for the Michaniona bosses and thought they would work for other employers in Northern Greece.

The 4 trawler bosses who would accompany them, after having been informed about what they were to meet at the bus station, deserted the van which would drive the fishworkers to Michaniona. The driver who would drive that van also left a little bit too hasty and crushed his car some meters along the road.

Generally speaking, and despite the vague and contradictory information, the people mobilized were many, they responded fast and effectively and stayed until late at night. On the other hand, if this is the best the bosses can do in terms of organisation, then things might not be that easy for them.

Of course, since the state’s service for labour employment (ΟΑΕΔ) and the Ministry of Employment have clearly taken the bosses’ side and has deemed the hiring of scabs legal (despite the fact that the strike is for now legal on a court’s decision), the trawlers bosses have already started hiring Bulgarian fishworkers in an effort to pave the road for strikebreaking. The Egyptian Fishworkers’ Union has already taken legal action against this but the injunction will not be brought to court earlier than April 16.

The way the strikers will deal with the actions of the bosses and their state allies will mean a lot for the future of the strike.

This is a translation of this solidarity assembly post.   previous posts on the strike here.

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