- Category: Winter Has Its End
- Created on Sunday, 24 June 2012 18:56
- Written by Azad
Greek steelworker's strike entering sixth month. This is part of the reporting from the Winter Has Its End Team from Greece.
Confrontation between striking workers & scabs at Greek Steelworks
ASPROPIRGOS, GREECE -- Driving on National Road 8, we approach the industrial area home to Greek Steelworks (i.e., Elliniki Halivourgia). The workers at the factory have been on strike since December 26, 2011.
We visited the steelworkers to investigate their struggle, which began when management reduced the length of the working day by 30-55% for the factory’s 380 workers. Approximately 40 workers were present at the factory when we visited and spoke with the striking workers.
The workers guard the factory round-the-clock from scabs and strikebreakers. Greek Steelworks is a stronghold of the “All-Workers Military Front” (PAME), the trade union arm of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE).
Support for the steelworker’s strike, however, has come from across the Left political spectrum and the community.
The striking workers protect and maintain the factory’s equipment. Some of the workers who spoke to us maintained that the owner is superfluous in the production process and the workers would be happy to operate the facility under a self-management regime.
The principal owner of the factory is a Greek capitalist with interests in steel, banking and shipping. The capitalist had insisted on a number of concessions from the Greek state in order to improve profit margins, including a reduction in the price of electricity.
The Greek state granted him a concessionary loan of approximately Euro two million. The owner was allowed to build a port near the steel factory as another concession. Greek Steelworks generated a profit of roughly 211 million Euro in 2011. The inventory currently on the premises has been expropriated by the striking workers.
Less than two hours after our visit, a large contingent of scabs and police confronted the striking steelworkers. We will provide our readers with more information if it becomes available.