“Elliniki Halyvourgia”: Strikers are firmly standing their ground despite unprecedented government plotting
The Radical, 25 July 2012
With the order of the government, which openly plays the game of Manesis, traffic in the National Road Athens-Corinth was interrupted three times, as trucks from the factory were allowed to enter the opposite traffic flow. The new general assembly of the steelworkers will take place today.
In the now police-occupied (inside and outside of the factory) “Steelworks of Greece”, and after the brutal double attack of the riot police against the steelworkers, the government of PASOK-ND-DIMAR takes care to satisfy every desire of the businessman N.Manesis in order to increase his profits, while also trying to crush the strikers' struggle.
This government went so far as to stop, via the relevant ministries, the traffic on regular intervals in the National Road Athens-Corinth at the height of the junction of ELPE, in order for the industrialist's trucks to enter the factory unhindered and load the goods which are stored in the factory's facilities. Thousands of drivers were stuck on the road until the process was completed.
They forced the truck drivers to move in the opposite traffic stream
The peak of the services offered to the industrialist at the expense not only of the steelworkers, but also of thousands of drivers, was the moment when the loaded trucks were ready to leave. Then they interrupted the traffic again to do something unheard of! The trucks were allowed to exit the factory's gate and to move in the opposite traffic stream at a distance of 1km so as to avoid passing in front of the steelworkers who were gathered right next to the factory. The queue of the cars almost reached the Psychiatric Hospital in Dafni.
This police operation invoked the reaction of the striking steelworkers who reported this case of unprecedented arbitrariness. Giannis Gkiokas, pm of KKE (Communist Party of Greece), who was at the side of the steelworkers, asked for an explanation from the head of the police forces, who naturally didn't dare answer anything.
Moreover, to be sure that this operation will have the greatest …success possible, they recruited, from early on in the morning, 8 prison vans of the Riot Police with at least 20 Riot Police squads and a double digit number of police and security with a corresponding … staff, which was placed at the factory gates and which was obviously ready to proceed to massive arrests in case Manesis' interests appeared to be in jeopardy.
Traffic in the National Road Athens-Corinth was interrupted at 9.30 in the morning for several minutes until 11 trucks passed. At 11.10 a.m., traffic was interrupted again, this time in order for 4 loaded trucks to leave, and at 2.25 p.m. it was interrupted again in order for the 7 last trucks to leave.
New General Assembly today
On their part, the Greek Steelworkers plan a new General Assembly today, Wednesday at 11.00 a.m., in light of the new data that has emerged after the repeated attacks of the Riot Police and given the fact that Labour Minister Giannis Vroutsis is effectively poking fun at them. Until late last night, he hadn't even bothered to inform the Union Leadership of the meeting in which he had invited them (he announced it in writing on Monday, the day before yesterday) on Friday, July 27th at 3 p.m. He is, in other words, avoiding meeting them in person as is repeatedly requested by the Managing Board of the Union of “Elliniki Halyvourgia” (Greek Steelworks), hoping that in this way he will manage to break the strike.
Translated by: Yannis Tembelis
Translation edited by: Lenin Reloaded