Protest about the Greek trade unionist in court for fighting austerity
On Thursday 24 November 2011, the Greek police arrested Nikos Photopoulos, President of the power workers’ union GENOP/DEI, along with more than a dozen of his fellow trade unionists.The trade unionists will appear in court on Tuesday 10 January 2012 to face charges that could see them jailed for up to five years, despite protests from the union.
They were protesting against part of the Greek austerity measures – the cutting off of power to people unable or unwilling to pay a new, swingeing property tax, levied regardless of income or wealth. Nikos and his colleagues had blockaded the headquarters of Greece’s largest power company, PPC, for nearly five days because the company had agreed to Government requests to collect the new tax through electricity bills, and cut off the power if the bills weren’t paid.
Greek trade union confederation GSEE, the sister organisation of the TUC, and like us a member of the ETUC and ITUC, is supporting Nikos and his colleagues legally, and it has asked us to send messages of protest to the Greek Government ahead of the trial and encourage others to do so. A statement from the GSEE is on the TUC website, as is a guide from the TUC to how to protest to the Greek Prime Minister – and send solidarity messages to GENOP and the GSEE.