Tuesday 24 July 2012 by John Millington Printable Email
Trade unionists in Britain flooded to the Greek embassy in London on Monday to show solidarity with striking steelworkers after their picket lines were attacked by riot police in Athens.
Workers at the Hellenic Steel factory have been on strike for 268 days, struggling for decent wages and demanding the reinstatement of sacked colleagues.
But last Friday Greece’s coalition government ordered police to try and break the strike despite ongoing negotiations between unions and employers.
Riot police attacked picket lines with batons and tear gas.
But despite a handful of strike breakers and managers being escorted through police lines, the workers’ union Pame has insisted the strike “will go on.”
Greek and British communists alongside members of transport union RMT unfurled a banner saying: “Without you no cog can turn. Workers can do without the bosses.”
Speaking to the Morning Star after delivering a letter on behalf of the union to the Greek embassy condemning the police action, RMT president Alex Gordon said: “Riot police have been deployed and workers quite rightly are resisting.
“I think the first thing, is to get the message out that the Greek workers are not alone.”
Mr Gordon added that the example of the strike in Greece and the brutal response of the government was a sign of things to come.
“Things are getting difficult in Britain,” he said, pointing to reports of ministers considering sacking striking border guards.
“The duty of trade unionists and socialists is to collective action and to defend our class interests.”