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Information Note from PAME: The negative role of SYRIZA In the Trade Union Movement of Greece

pame.pngIn view of the upcoming elections in Greece on the 25th of January 2015 we witness
unfolding, from the media and other organizations, a campaign to support the party SYRIZA in
Greece. This campaign has created a fake profile of SYRIZA as representative of the Left
and the workers of Greece, which is borderline science fiction. Following this campaign, the
Trade Unionist Network of Europe (TUNE) recently invited its members to sign a resolution of
support to SYRIZA.

PAME, which represents the class trade union movement of Greece, and faces every day
the forces of the employers and the Capital, with rich internationalist action, has a duty to
inform the trade union forces on the political developments in Greece and the role of SYRIZA
in the trade union movement of Greece.

What proves the role of any Organization, political or trade unionist, are its positions and the
consistency of words and deeds. SYRIZA although as a political party is presented without any
“governmental sins”, but in an effort to gain the support of the Capitalists it adopts deeply
reactionary positions. At the same time, already in practice, its little forces in the trade union
movement and the unions that SYRIZA controls, have a dirty history of ties with the employers
and of surrendering the wage and labor rights of the workers. Here we give you some specific

The positions of SYRIZA and its role in the Trade Union Movement

In the European Trade Union Movement
The forces of SYRIZA in the trade unions are promoters of the ETUC (European Trade
Union Confederation) which is the mechanism of the European Union and the Capital in the
trade union movement and the European part of the ITUC. The forces of SYRIZA,
participating in the ETUC and other international organizations, have not made any
criticism to the support of the ETUC in the anti-labor reforms of the EU, its support for the
imperialist interventions in Syria, Ukraine, Libya, for its positions against the just struggle of the
Palestinian people. That is why it is not by chance that SYRIZA enjoys the support by
European trade unionists and organizations, who in the recent years have lead the attack
against the workers’ rights in their country, such from CCOO in Spain.

In the trade union movement of Greece
The trade unions controlled by SYRIZA in Greece are protagonists in the cultivation of class
collaboration, the subordination of workers to the demands of the employers. It is characteristic
that the largest trade union controlled by SYRIZA (the Trade Union of Workers in
Supermarkets of Athens) is the best known employer-controlled trade union. It operates under
the control of the supermarkets’ Managers so as to directly terrorize and subjugate the
workers. It has made NOT EVEN ONE mobilization, did NOT publish ONE announcement, it
has not done NEITHER ONE action.

In the branches that the forces of SYRIZA signed Collective

Agreements, the workers suffered by the butchering of their wages. Example of such wage cuts were signed in:
Retail Employees, -6,7%
Greek Oil (ELPE) -10%, accompanied by increase of daily work hours
Super Market Employees, -12%
Workers in Electric Railway, -35%
Seamen, -15%

The opposition of SYRIZA to workers’ struggles was expressed numerous times the
last period. More typical are the statements made by the President of SYRIZA against the
strikes of maritime workers, which he called “outrageous”. At the same time, trade unionists of
SYRIZA often act as strikebreaking mechanism, with many such examples in banks, hospitals,
teachers, supermarkets and much more.
The pro-employers role of the forces of SYRIZA is also expressed through its open alliance
in a number of unions, with the trade unionists of the social democratic PASOK and the
neoconservative Nea Demokratia (which of course in view of the elections, SYRIZA now
condemns, so as to take its position as Government). We mention only the following trade
unions where there is open coalition of forces between SYRIZA, PASOK and ND, otherwise
the list will not end.
Federation of Workers in Drug Industries
Federation of Workers in Food-Drink Industries
Federation of Workers of Water Supply Company DEYA
Federation of Workers in Insurance Companies OASE
Regional TU of Lakonia
Regional TU of Mesologi

In its attempt to block the class oriented trade union movement, SYRIZA’s forces even
cooperate with the Nazi-Fascist Golden Dawn (as is the case in the Trade Union of
Municipality Employees of Perama, the Trade Union of Municipality Employees of Leivadia and

Some points about the stance of SYRIZA towards PAME

The forces of SYRIZA in the Trade Union movement are characterized by strong anticommunism,
hatred against the class movement, against PAME. They attacked the foundation
of PAME denouncing it as “divisive”, “sectarian”, “saboteur of the movement’s unity” etc.
because PAME opposed and revealed the relationship of the bureaucratic trade unionism with
the employers. Another example is their attack against the initiatives of PAME for action. The
recent national rally of PAME of November 1, which rallied 100,000 workers and was
organized by 1,000 trade unions and social organizations, was fiercely attacked by the trade
unionists of SYRIZA. Also characteristic is the attitude of the trade unionists of SYRIZA
towards the 9-month heroic strike of the steelworkers, where they called the strikers to end the
strike and adopt as demand for the government to supply cheap electricity to the industryowner!

A demand which SYRIZA, later, called in favour of all the industry-owners!
Because the TUNE declared their belief that a government of SYRIZA “will also represent
green shoots of change for Europe”, we are obliged to ask the militant trade unions to think
whether the trade union movement should support the following positions of SYRIZA in their
respective countries, as:
– SYRIZA is in favour of Greece’s membership to NATO and the European Union
– SYRIZA has committed NOT to abolish the Memoranda and the antilabour laws they
have imposed
– SYRIZA has included in his candidates list prominent ex Ministers as well as
yesterday’s Members of the Parliament of the Socialdemocratic PASOK who have
promoted and voted the anti-labour laws. In the context of the so called Alliance of the South, SYRIZA expresses positive views for the anti workers governments of Rajoy in Spain, Renzi in Italy, Hollande in France. More characteristically, it was only on Monday, January 12th, that the
president of SYRIZA stated that “Merkel has nothing to fear by a SYRIZA government”.

Does the trade union movement in Spain, Italy, France believe that their governments
are in favour of the workers? Does the trade union movement support the European
Union, the NATO, the IMF?

On the developments in:
– Ukraine-SYRIZA concealed the dirty role of the European Union in the coup d’etat
overthrowing the elected government of Ukraine, which lead the country into Civil
– Syria-SYRIZA supported the USA plans to destabilize the region and called for
“political and financial support to the forces of the opposition”. A support that ended
up in the hands of ISIS

Can the international trade union movement be a supporter of the imperialist
interventions, the incitement of civil wars, and the destabilization of regions?

The position of PAME
The class trade union movement is separated by an abyss from the logic of class
collaboration, the bureaucratic and employers’ trade unionism. PAME rejects as a betrayal
of the working class, the position that a government, which adopts as positions the
competitiveness of the capital, participation in imperialist organizations such as NATO and
the EU, can fulfill the modern needs of the working class. Workers all over the world suffer
the capitalist crisis and its consequences, the attack on workers’ rights and freedoms
whether under social democratic or conservative governments.

The trade unions that rally with PAME, the class oriented trade union movement of
Greece, in the elections of January 25 highlights the issue that whichever
government will be elected, must be weak for not to be able to impose its anti
workers program. The day after the elections must have weaker the argument that the
European Union and Capitalism is the only way. Must have stronger the workers and
peoples’ opposition. PAME undertakes the duty, the day after the elections to be in
the streets, in the factories, in the workplaces, to defend the rights of workers to fight
for the fulfillment of their contemporary needs.

Athens, 15.1.15


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