clandestina

Migration and Struggle in Greece

Posts Tagged ‘fishing workers’

Update on the fishworkers strike – solidarity march and concert

Posted by clandestina on 22 January 2010

solidarity march, Tuesday January 26, solidarity concert Friday, January 29

previous update

sources

After the first court decision that deemed last week the strike unlawful , the second trial’s decision came yesterday and was also against the strike. The strikers go on with their struggle with 24 hour strike decisions.

Trawlers bosses also continue with their effort to bring other Egyptians as scabs. According to Rhizospastis newspaper, “agents” in Athens are into this, and a meeting took place in the trawler owners offices in Michaniona, between the bosses and an “agent” (referred as “smuggler” by the newspaper).

The Egyptians themselves estimate that they will probably be in position to reach some agreement with their compatriots, should any of them be brought as scabs, since it is highly unlikely that the people allured would be aware of the situation.

“If they attemt to bring scabs, instead of 250 strikers they will have 400”. This is one of the things some of the strikers shared with the attendance of the successful Info Event of Wednesday at the Thessaloniki Polytechnic. About seventy people were there.

“The strikers talked in a way that both moved us and strenghtened our conviction that their fight is a fight for us all.  With dignity and determination to go all the way with their struggle, they spoke warmly and directly. In other words, they “forced” everyone to stand beside them and try to put forward solidarity action on even more serious basis. Besides the ultimate goal, the victory of the strike, we can learn from them and get to know each other.  We have to learn how to intervene (or even attempt to do so) on a sound basis, with a view to real links with the people in such struggles, and to the social and not simply the political.  The strikers also talked about how they understand solidarity and made clear two things: they want to avoid at any case extreme conflicts between forces supporting the strike, as well as any action that could endanger their physical presence at the village.  Under current conditions these seem reasonable and understandable. In other words, if one believes that this is the time to resolve disputes with the Communist Party, there is clearly a problem…”.

The further actions decided at the event were

  • mass leafleting at the Thessaloniki fishmarket on Saturday
  • a solidarity march for Tuesday January 26 at Thessaloniki
  • a solidarity concert on Friday, January 29 at Kamara square.

Posted in Action & Struggle Reports, Calls to Action, Campaigns, Appeals & Petitions, Content Reproductions/ Adaptations/ Translations, Events, Short Reports | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Update on the Nea Michaniona fishworkers strike.

Posted by clandestina on 19 January 2010

The case of the employers against the strike of the fishworkers was brought anew to court yesterday.

The fishworkers are now on strike under a decision of their own Union. The bosses want the court to decide an injunction against the strike, which means that for each day of the strike the Union and the fishworkers should compensate the owners for the damages.

The arguments of the employers were:

a) notification of the strike was not sent to the pertinent body; they now said that the employers’ body to which the strike was officialy made known to (the Greek Shipowners Union for Middle Fisheries – ΠΕΠΜΑ – is a nationwide body of owners who only deals with … European policies!  The exact reverse of what they had claimed on the first trial, namely that this body – ΠΕΠΜΑ – was the one that the fishworkers should sent the notice for the strike to and not to the local Union of ship owners, as the strikers had done when they first declared a strike. The bosses twist things the way it suits them of course.

b) Some of the strike’s requests, for instance the insurance fund under which they have to be covered for labor accidents and illnesses, is not the business of the ship-owners but of the pertinent government Ministry (of course it had been the ship owners who had lobbied at the Ministry and succeeded in making the unfavourable for the workers insurance fund tranfer).

c) Above all, the bosses claimed, it is the Union of Nea Mihaniona Fishworkers the one legally assigned to be present at the fish auctions, weight the catches and calculate the workers’ share; they also claimed that the Egyptians were never obstructed from exerting partly control to the processes. This shows the central role of that yellow union for the ship owners. What the ship owners try to avoid at any cost is to recognize the collective, autonomous body of the Egyptian workers, and thus lose control, while on n the other hand, the key demand of the Egyptians is just that, that through their Union they have control of the weighting processes and the calculation of shares, since they the yellow union is of course not to be trusted.

The strike does harm the ship-owners a lot: they lose millions.

The Egyptians are determined to continue. The bosses, on the other hand, are probably ready to replace them with the help of the Egyptian embassy.  The most important battle will be done if scabs come, from Egypt or elsewhere.  In that case, there will be blood, since the Egyptians are really steadfast to their struggle.

Whether we like it or not ΠΑΜΕ / the Communist Party is the only one with the power, the networks and the mechanism to support the battle in Mihaniona . Those of us who want to support the struggle and we are outside ΠΑΜΕ / the Communist Party we have to go and really see what we can do: see what small and practical things we can do, such as make the strike known in Thessaloniki, collect money etc.

The court decision about the strike is to be issued tomorrow; the strike continues, tomorrow there is the info event at Thessaloniki Polytechnic.

Posted in Action & Struggle Reports, Calls to Action, Campaigns, Appeals & Petitions, Content Reproductions/ Adaptations/ Translations, Events, Short Reports, Undeclared War news | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Solidarity with the Fishworkers on Strike – event in Thessaloniki, Wed, Jan 20.

Posted by clandestina on 16 January 2010

SOLIDARITY WITH THE FISHWORKERS ON STRIKE! INFO EVENT JAN 20, 19.00, POLYTECHNIC SCHOOL, THESSALONIKI - by the SOLIDARITY ASSEMBLY

MORE ABOUT THE STRIKE

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Egyptian fishworkers on strike in Nea Michaniona, Northern Greece.

Posted by clandestina on 16 January 2010

photo from Rizospastis newspaper

solidarity with the struggle of the Egyptian fishworkers - graffiti in Michaniona

UPDATE JAN 16: On Thursday, January 14, the case of the trawlers bosses against the strike was brought to court, and the strike was judged “illegal and abusive” (the strike was under the auspices of the private sector employees union, until the fishworkers validated their own Union during the stike by union elections – the Union was established three years ago but remained unofficial for not having undergone elections).

Despite this court decision, the fishworkers will go on  with their struggle and their Union has decided repeated one-day stikes for the days to come.

On Thursday the protest march called by the fishworkers took place.  It concluded at the Ministry located in Thessaloniki.  PAME (CP’s Union) had a strong presence.  Extra-parliamentary leftists and antiauthoritarians did participate but their numbers were lower than one would expect given the significance of the struggle.

After the demonstration an assembly was held at the Polytechnic University and today a text was leafletted at the city’s fish market, and a poster was billed on the streets calling for an information event at the same place on next Wednesday.

source: athens indymedia article

UPDATE JAN 13 :

the lawsuit the vessel owners lodged against the strike will be brought to court tomorrow, Thursday, at 9.00. There is a call for a demonstration by the strikers and the CP controlled trade union PAME for tomorrow at 6.30, at Aristotelous sq. (Agalma Venizelou). People obviously from the anarchist / antiauthoritarian scene also call through Athens Indymedia (in Greek) for active support to the strike and the demonstration, since on Tuesday (when the case was at first to be judged) the presence of solidarity beyond CP supporters outside the courts was miniscule (a relevant call has been posted at the Thessaloniki University, and there will be a gathering for coordination after the demonstration at the Polytechnic school).

Rizospastis Newspaper reported that yesterday “some vessel owners “kicked the Egyptians out” of the trawlers where they stay at night according to the treaty,and in violation of the latter’s terms manned their trawlers with scabs and sailed, ”.

UPDATE WEDNESDAY 12 JAN.:

Yesterday Jan 11 the trial of the lawsuit the vessel owners lodged against the strike was postponed (it will take place on Thursday). Meanwhile, there have been negotiations. The employers, in cooperation with the Mayor of Michaniona and the Egyptian Embassy, along with creating an atmosphere of threats and bigotry, proposed an outrageous text as a basis for the settlement for workers demands. This text not only failed to satisfy any of the demands, but also included clauses prohibiting union organisation for the Egyptian workers, demanding the dismissal of those “misbehaving” or those “being incosistent with their obligations”. It also included a blacklist of the “troublemakers”, which had been already sent to the Embassy (one can easily understand what kind of treatment these persons – those prominently active in the struggle – will receive if deported, actually, to Egypt). They also tried to fool the Egyptians providing this text in three languages (Greek, Arabic and English) with the condition that the English is to be considered the valid one in case the translations are found not exactly matching – while the Egyptians only understand the Arabic variant. The workers clearly rejected the text.

Egyptian fishworkers on strike in Nea Michaniona, Northern Greece.

About 300 Egyptian workers at the fishing boats of Nea Michaniona (a village near Thessaloniki, Northern Greece) blockaded two days ago the small port of the village.

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