Migration and Struggle in Greece

35 immigrants in Ioannina, W. Greece on hunger strike

Posted by clandestina on 11 December 2010

35 immigrants in Ioannina, W. Greece on hunger strike, after boss vanishes with their wages of 65.000 Euro

Since yesterday, Friday the 10th of December, 35 immigrants have started a hunger strike in front of the Prefecture building in the centre of Ioannina, Western Greece. The immigrants have resorted to this form of struggle to protest the fact that they have not been paid for several months of hard agricultural work.

Some of the strikers are already suffering from health problems related to the low temperatures, while one of them was transferred to the hospital yesterday evening. On Thursday, the immigrants spent the whole night until Friday morning in front of the Prefecture and they are planning to continue spending nights there, abstaining from food, until they are given the money owed to them.

Yesterday, dozens of people gathered to show their solidarity, camps were set up, fires were lit, blankets, water, tea were brought to the site to counter the effects of the cold weather.

The immigrant workers, mostly from Senegal and Pakistan, were working at greenhouses in Kalpaki, near Ioannina, when at some point they realized their boss had disappeared without paying them. The greenhouse company Tzartzoulis S.A., the immigrants’ employer for many months, owes them over 65.000 Euro in day’s wages. Moreover, the company has not granted them with work-stamps, and now the workers face the threat of not having enough stamps to renew their work permits. For the last six weeks, all 35 immigrants have been living on no money at all, while they cannot even sleep at the company warehouse, where the boss used to keep them while they were employed.

The immigrants are proceeding with the hunger strike after a week of publicizing and protesting their inhuman treatment. They have also asked the Workers’ Centre of Ioannina for legal aid and union support.

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