Tsipras' government dismisses 10,000 workers, promotes privatization in garbage collection


Sanitary workers protesting near the Acropolis in Athens.

Why there are tones of garbage in the streets of Athens and other Greek major cities these days? The answer is because the SYRIZA-ANEL coalition government- within the framework of its anti-people, anti-workers policy and following the demands of the EU strategy- moves towards the dismissal of 10,000 sanitary workers, while it promotes the privatization of the garbage collection sector in municipalities.
Greece's local authority staff union federation POE-OTA launched a protest last week, after a court ruled against the new extension to late 2017 of the short- term contracts of more than 10,000 people working in trash collection in municipalities throughout Greece.
POE-OTA responded with work stoppages, strikes, and sit-in protests at landfills, rightfully demanding permanent employment of workers to replace the fixed-term contracts, which put workers in risk of being fired in a country suffering chronic unemployment of about 25% of the working force.
In a communication trick, Interior Minister Panos Skourletis submitted to the parliament on Monday a proposal for hiring 2,500 permanent municipal sanitation workers. The proposal was immediately rejected by POE-OTA as insufficient. The government's mockery towards the sanitary workers is more than clear: It proposes the hiring of 2,500 municipal sanitation workers, while it prepares the dismissal of more than 6,500 of them!
"Given that sanitation services are a daily operation in urban centers, we request permanent personnel earning salaries allowing them to make a living with dignity. There is no need for short-term workers which are recycled by governments and mayors under the formula 'You leave, you are hired'. As a result, each time people are offered fewer workers' rights and smaller wages," Christos Panagiotopoulos, a protesting worker was quoted by the Chinese news network Xinhua on Monday.
In this anti-workers strategy, the SYRIZA-ANEL government is actually supported by the opposition party of New Democracy and all the bourgeois political forces, including many of the municipal authorities. In Thessaloniki, mayor Yannis Boutaris- known for his hostility towards the labor movement- unleashed a fierce attack against the striking workers and threatened them by signing an emergency tender awaiting a relevant short-term contract to the private sector. Such a move by Boutaris would cost to the city's taxpayers approximately 192,000 euros for three days! The All-Workers Militant Front (PAME) slammed the anti-worker delirium of mayor Boutaris thus accusing him of promoting the governmental strategy and the interests of private contractors.



"Fraud- hostage- dismissal- unemployment... This is the course of the government's policy in the case of the municipal sanitation workers, the policy followed by the SYRIZA-ANEL government during the last 2.5 years" writes the Sunday edition of "Rizospastis" on 25th June.

"In particular, the sector of sanitation and waste management consists a very promising "investment" sector for monopoly groups" points out the article of "Rizospastis" and continues: "Many are those who are lurking to strench their hands, since in this case "garbage is treasure". What nowadays appears to be a "gordian knot" in the labor relation of the contract workers, consists a first-class opportunity to promote privatization projects. It is also no coincidence that many media, according to their favorite method, rushed to zoom at the "piles of garbage" in Athens, in order to connect the issue with the tourist season and pass the "message" about the need for privatization. After all, specific mayors are already moving towards this direction openly".



KKE: "The people must support the struggle of the sanitation workers - The waste collection and management is state's responsibility."



In a statement, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) expressed its support to the struggle of the workers and denounced the policy of the SYRIZA-ANEL government, as well as the role of New Democracy and part of the mayors who promote the privatization plans. The KKE states that the waste collection and management is state's responsibility and must be financed from the government's budget. "Today", the KKE statement points out, "the SYRIZA-ANEL government dismisses thousands of contract workers, hiding behild the constitution's provisions. Instead of ensuring the right to stable and permanent labor of all these workers, (the government) is mocking them, promising supposed solutions which perpetuate labor insecurity and lead to dismissals".

Full support to the struggle of the sanitation workers was expressed by the five communist mayors - of the cities of Patras, Chaidari, Petroupolis, Kesariani and Ikaria - who denounced the governmental mockery. The five mayors asked from the government to transform the temporary contracts of the municipal sanitation workers into permanent ones.
And a 24-hour strike and a new rally in Athens was called for Thursday.

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/201...ses-10000.html