Update 12

ETUC’s day of action – London Protest and Rally

Please use the link to Guardian letter below or to encourage people to attend the ETUC day of action events – organised by the Coalition of Resistance and the Greece Solidarity Campaign.

Assemble for the Protest 5pm – 5:30pm, European Commission, 32 Smith Square, Westminster, SW1P 3EU. Tubes: St. James’s Park / Westminster
Speakers at the protest will include Frances O’Grady (TUC), Mark Serwotka (PCS), Katy Clark MP, Natalie Bennett (Green Party)

And attend the Rally from 6:30pm, Upper Hall, Emmanuel Centre, 9-23 Marsham Street Greater London SW1P 3DW. Speakers include Tony Benn, Andrew Murray (Unite the Union), Zita Holbourne (PCS and BARAC), John McDonnell MP.

Speakers live-streamed from Greece, Spain, Portugal & footage from strikes and protests on the day.

Guardian letter – 14.11.2012 – from Guardian website  http://gu.com/p/3bz4j/em

Today millions of trade unionists across Europe are responding to the European TUC’s call for a day of action against the austerity policies which are destroying public services and jobs, and blighting the lives of ordinary people. The suffering we see in Greece is the most extreme example of the devastation wreaked by these policies (Greece hit by new delay over bailout, 10 November). As a result there will be general strikes in Portugal, Greece, Italy and Spain, demanding alternative policies and an end to the onslaught which is destroying Europe’s welfare states. In other countries, including Britain, there will be solidarity demonstrations showing the depth of public opposition (5pm outside the EU office in London), in support of the struggles across Europe and in defence of our own welfare state.
Tony Benn President, Coalition of Resistance 
Frances O’Grady General secretary designate, TUC
Len McCluskey General secretary, Unite 
Christine Blower General secretary, NUT 
Mark Serwotka General secretary, PCS 
Katy Clark MP
Michelle Stanistreet General secretary, NUJ
Billy Hayes General secretary, CWU 
Jeremy Corbyn MP
John McDonnell MP
Manuel Cortes General secretary, TSSA 
Sally Hunt General secretary, UCU 
Mick Whelan General secretary, Aslef
Bob Crow General secretary, RMT
Matt Wrack General secretary, FBU
Chris Keates General secretary, NASUWT
Steve Gillan General secretary, POA
Megan Dobney Secretary, Sertuc
Sam Fairbairn Secretary, Coalition of Resistance
Zita Holbourne Chair, BARAC
Natalie Bennett Leader, Green party
Paul Mackney Co-chair, Greece Solidarity Campaign
Isidoros Diakides Co-chair, Greece Solidarity Campaign
Romayne Phoenix Chair, Coalition of Resistance
Rachel Newton People’s Charter
Andrew Burgin Europe officer, Coalition of Resistance

TUC letter to the Greek Government – no to austerity!

As part of 14 November ETUC Day of Action against austerity, for jobs and growth, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber has written formally to the Greek Prime Minister – at the request of Greek trade unions – expressing ‘anger and dismay about … measures which will hit harder the weakest and will deteriorate further the dramatic social and economic situation in Greece.’  http://www.tuc.org.uk/international/tuc-21634-f0.cfm

  Mr Antonis Samaras
Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic
Maximos Mansion
19 Irodou Attikou St.
Athens 106-74

Dear Prime Minister

Austerity in Greece

Our sister organisations, the GSEE and ADEDY, have informed us of the structural labour market measures imposed by the Troika that were passed by the Greek parliament on 7 November 2012. On behalf of the TUC, I would like to express anger and dismay about the contents of these measures, which will hit harder the weakest and will deteriorate further the dramatic social and economic situation in Greece.

The measures dictated by the Troika concentrate on new cuts in wages and pensions. They disregard and destroy the value of collective bargaining: indeed, the minimum wage will no longer be subject to negotiations but set by law and frozen at below subsistence levels together with long-service ‘maturity’ allowances.

Working time and leave regulation will be imposed without any form of negotiations. The single remaining benefit attached to minimum wage, the 10% family allowance, will be removed and will further impoverish workers, pensioners and their families. The new system precludes the extension of the protective framework of collective agreements to all workers and forbids any other allowance.

Such measures gravely affect not only Greece and its citizens but the whole of the European working population. Indeed such drastic cuts in wages and pensions, such flexibilisation of working time and working conditions, and such disregard of the value of collective bargaining create a negative downwards competition for all workers in Europe.

The TUC strongly deplores and opposes these measures which flagrantly contradict key principles of the European Treaties (namely the horizontal social clause, upwards convergence of living and working standards, strict respect for national systems of industrial relations, etc).

The TUC recalls that Greece has already been scrutinised by the Council of Europe and has been found to have violated the 1961 Social Charter by a series of legislation enacted at the express demand of the Troika.

The TUC expresses its solidarity with Greek workers and with the Greek population undergoing the most unfair and counter-productive measures, imposed from the outside, and contravening the European Treaties.

We ask the Government of Greece to refrain from adopting the revised budget on 11 November as it will inflict further damage on already impoverished Greek workers and their families.

Yours sincerely
General Secretary

Next Greece Solidarity Campaign Organising Meeting – Wed 21 November
6.30-7.30 at Firebox Cafe,  106-108 Cromer Street, Kings Cross, London WC1H 8BZ (less than 5 minutes from Kings Cross station via a cut-through by Camden Town Hall and along Tonbridge Street).

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