ORGANIZATION of COMMUNISTIS INTERNATIONALISTS – Greece
Leaflet on 1st May 2018
INTERNATIONAL WORKERS’ DAY
STRUGGLE AGAINST THE BARBARITY OF CAPITALIST CRISIS AND WAR
The International Workers’ Day, a day of commemoration and struggle of the working class world-wide, finds the working class both all over the world and in our country under the outbreak of the crisis of the global capitalist system, the proliferation of warfare and the threat of a generalized war, of brutal attacks on labor rights – and the effort to crush the working class and the poor popular strata. The crisis of the global capitalist system has begun to explode and transform into civil-military conflicts. Today, a bubble in the stock markets has been recreated, being even bigger than that of 2008, threatening the global capitalist system with new bankruptcies of states, banks and of the global monetary system. As a result of the harsh neoliberal policies implemented globally, social inequalities have reached a historically unprecedented level. Only 1% of adults worldwide hold 50.1% of the world’s wealth (42.5% in 2008), while 3.5 billion (70% of the world’s workforce) have just 2.7%.
The above situation of the global capitalist system exacerbates the competition between the old imperialist powers (USA, EU, Japan) and the “emerging” countries (China, Russia, India, etc., the so-called BRICS), but also among the old imperialists themselves. “All Against All” is the evolution for the capitalist world. The exacerbation of the capitalist crisis is reigniting civil-military conflicts and a generalized war is increasingly threatening mankind. The US, in particular, are increasingly advancing their plans -with the latest bombings included- in order to encircle and hit Russia (see Syria, the Balkans, Ukraine) and to encircle China (see North Korea and South-East Asia) adding the nightmare of the war to the agenda.
In Greece, the working class and the poor popular strata have paid and continue to pay the bankruptcy of Greek capitalism through the repeated memoranda. GDP has fallen since the outbreak of the 2008 crisis by over 25% (a decline corresponding to war periods) and labor and popular income have shrunk up to 50%. Unemployment is at 27.5%, according to GSEE, long-term unemployment accounts for 70% of all unemployed workers, and youth unemployment (aged 15-19) is over 52.2% – and over 500.000 young people have migrated. According to the Organization for Mediation and Arbitration, in 2017 only 6% of the sectors of Greek economy is covered by collective labor agreements, while in 2008 65% was covered by sectoral employment contracts. The poverty rate reached 36.5% in 2016. Part-time and uninsured work took enormous proportions and in 2017 tripled compared to 2008. One million workers are unpaid from 1 to 15 months. Labor accidents have reached 35,000 – 40,000 a year, and 120 of them are fatal.
The despicable coalition government of SYRIZA-ANEL has accepted all the previous memoranda and continued their implementation, introducing the 3rd and 4th memorandum, thereby establishing the memorandum regime. With the continuous “evaluations” of the 3rd memorandum, a series of measures are being promoted and aimed at establishing a New System of Exploitation aimed against the workers. Workers who will have no right at all and will be at the mercy of the employer. They aim at the complete abolition of trade union and democratic rights of the workers, so as to hinder their ability to react: attacking and abolishing the right to strike, institutionalizing the lock-out of the employers. The goal is to attack trade unionism and especially the combative one. SYRIZA-ANEL coalition tries to conceal this reality with scenarios of various “success stories”, and lastly with the charade “Exiting the memoranda”. Together with the old supporters of memorandum that highlight the “reforms” and are presenting themselves as more capable to implement them. However, the implementation of the 4th memorandum, along with the reduction of pensions and tax-free allowances, comes earlier. Bloody fiscal surpluses and watching–over of greek capitalism by IMF/EU will last until 2060! In addition, the government has committed to the US plans in the region by providing land and water (bases, new rounds of military orders and spending, participation in the Israeli-Egyptian axis), and along with the intensity of competition with Turkey, will involve us in warfare.
Faced with this situation, workers must fight to reorganize their forces, to create and reinforce that revolutionary political force that will contribute in this direction. The SYRIZA memorandum mutation brought about the retreat of the mobilizations, of the “NO” block of the 2015 referendum, spreading defeatism and passivity, creating a sense of frustration regarding a mitigation of anti-labor attacks. Enhanced by SYRIZA’s forces, the memorandum trade union bureaucracy (PASKE, DAKE) exacerbates the crisis of the trade union movement, it does not even declare General Strikes (see Social Insurance, 3rd “Evaluation” of the current Memorandum Program) and attempts to further devalue strikes with “national days of action”. Left-wing political and trade union forces also have serious liabilities for this situation. KKE-PAME continues his “defeatist” policy in the workers’ and trade union movement, saying that the struggles are futile “if the workers do not abolish the capitalist system” and is indifferent to organizing the workers’ slightest resistance. Its “struggles” are confined to disruptive party parades and show acts, aimed at its promotion, while attacking organizations and unions on its left. LAE-META reiterates SYRIZA’s failed reformist plan with the aim of entering the Parliament and seeking alliances of all kinds to achieve it. ANTARSYA’s contribution to the reconstruction of the workers’ and trade union movement has very much weakened, despite its electoral forces in big unions and federations.
OKDE and its workers’ fraction (Workers’ Counter-attack) believe workers are not convinced by the despicable propaganda of SYRIZA-ANEL co-government. The difficulties in rebuilding their forces are real. But they are not greater than the difficulties of the capitalist system with its rigorous crisis, which seeks to turn them into modern villains and brings the danger of war closer and closer. The brutal assault that marks the transformation of workers into “working poor” masses, without any right at all, under the despotism of the employer, is the basis of unleashing the resistances of workers. In this effort of resistance, OKDE and the Workers’ Counter-attack struggle to contribute with the slogan “Organization, Permanent Struggle Everywhere”. To set up resistance for the most basic workers’ rights. To break defeatism, individualization and fear! To unite all employees on the basis of our interests! Let’s revive the general assemblies! Let’s organize in Struggle Committees, taking our cause in our own hands. To politicize our struggles with the realization that if the evil is not hit at its root, that is the capitalist system itself, its crisis threatens to transform the working class, the workers and youth into modern villeins and meat for their cannons. Let’s fight for a Workers’ Government.
Let’s fight for: – Abolition of Memoranda – Debt Cancelation – Exit EU and euro – Nationalization of the banks and key sectors of the economy and have their operation under labor control – Exit Greece from NATO. NO to equipment, bases, militarism – Anti-war, anti-imperialist struggle of all peoples in the region. Our common enemy is the reactionary bourgeoisie and the imperialists – Asylum to immigrants and refugees. Down with the racist EU-Turkey agreement – Permanent General Political Strike for the abolition of the pro-memorandum, pro-imperialist and warmonger co-government SYRIZA-ANEL – The only way out of the slaughterhouses of antagonisms and wars is with Workers’ Internationalism.