The Greek trade unionists facing jail for protesting against austerity will be back in court on Friday 20 January, so there is still time to send the Greek Prime Minister an online protest, urging him to drop the case as demanded by the TUC’s sister trade union confederation in Greece, the GSEE, who have called a further strike against austerity on Tuesday 24 January. As reported here on the first day of the trial, 5000 people worldwide had taken action to defend Nikos Photopoulos and his colleagues who were accused of trying to prevent energy company PPC adding the hated new property tax to people’s energy bills and cutting off those who don’t pay, regardless of circumstance.
So far nearly 3000 more people have signed up, with the support of the global union confederation ITUC and the ETUC, and we hope to break the 10,000 mark by the time Nikos and his fellow trade unionists return to court. Their resolve to fight was strengthened on Tuesday by the evidence given by the energy company director who admitted that the union protest that blockaded his headquarters was not, as the police alleged, violent. This only leaves the accusation that Nikos and his union were guilty of opposing Government policy through peaceful protest – a truly appalling charge in a so-called democracy, albeit one now ruled by an unelected Prime Minister carrying out the orders of the international community rather than the will of the people. The official unemployment rate in Greece is now 18.2% but is probably significantly higher: as the GSEE says, this shows that austerity is having a catastrophic effect and that
“the only solution to boost employment is the radical change of policy to take immediate measures to boost growth, the real economy and employment.”
Take action – and please ask others to do so – by signing the LabourStart online email to the Greek Prime Minister.