Solidarity with the struggle of the Athens Coca-Cola workers!

The struggle of the Greek Coca-Cola workers is reaching a critical stage. On their own they risk defeat, especially with the passive attitude of the GSEE leaders. United and coordinated with workers across Greece, and internationally, facing the same situation they can win.

Editorial statement of Marxistiki Foni

The struggle of the Coca-Cola workers against the planned redundancies that were officially announced by the company, has reached a critical stage. Almost a month after the announcement was made, the company seems to be determined to make these workers redundant, workers who through their hard work over the years have guaranteed big profits for the company. What is required now, more than ever before, is for the struggle to be taken to a higher level; it must be coordinated with and linked to the whole labour movement.

The struggle of the Coca Cola workers’ union has to be coordinate and united, on a long term basis with the struggle of other workers in the same branch of industry and with unions in other factories facing closure or redundancies throughout the whole country. The reason for this is clear: the demands are the same and for the struggle to be more effective it has to become one united struggle. The attacks of the capitalists, with their closures of factories and redundancies, are generalized and that is why no factory can stop the plans of the bosses, counting only on its won forces.

Coordination of the struggle against redundancies must also take on an international character, because Coca-Cola is not sacking workers just in Greece. The redundancies in Greece are just part of a wider plan to restructure the company in many European countries, including Britain, Belgium and France. In France alone, the American multinational is getting ready to close down two plants and sack 2,330 workers. On February 6, the European Federation of the Food Industry Unions (EFFAT), representing 120 national unions in 35 European countries, organised an all-European demonstration in front of the company’s central office near Paris.

The leadership of the GSSE [Greek TUC] must take up its responsibility in this struggle. So far, it has been watching passively as the closures and the redundancies have gone ahead. Their words of sympathy in press conferences offer nothing concrete to the workers. What is required is that the leadership of GSEE adopts a fighting programme to stop the redundancies and make this a demand of the whole working class movement. It must also take up the demand for the nationalisation under workers’ control and management of all the industries that have announced closures, as the only way of saving jobs and production, and breaking with the mad pursuit of profits on the part of the capitalists.

Whatever position the union leadership adopts, one thing is sure: the workers directly involved in the dispute must have a direct say in how the struggle is developed. In order for the struggle to be successful, what is required is the active participation and control of the workers in every stage. With this aim in mind, what is needed is regular general assemblies of the workers and the election of an action committee of elected delegates that can be recalled at any moment. A union leadership that has been elected in previous periods of calm, where they were used to working relations and cooperation with the bosses, if it is not placed under strict control of the workers during such a critical situation, can play a counterproductive role in the struggle.

NOTE: Please keep up the campaign of solidarity messages! We republish here part of our previous appeal.

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Protest messages should be sent to the offices of the Coca-Cola company in North America and Europe.

Their email addresses are the following:

In North America:

Coca Cola Press Office: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In Europe:

Coca Cola Press Office: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For all countries:

Solidarity messages should be sent to the union of the Coca-Cola workers in Athens at: stamatiskar {(at)} yahoo.gr

Send copies also to: foni1917 {(at)} yahoo.gr the email of the Greek Marxists who are raising the international solidarity campaign with the Coca-Cola workers.

Please make sure you send emails sent off and also raise this issue with comrades in trade union and/or party positions. You cannot imagine how important international solidarity of this kind can be in raising workers’ morale!

Protest letter:

Dear Sirs,

It had been brought to out attention that you plan to reduce the workforce at your plant in Athens, Greece. You have announced 100 redundancies, but it is common knowledge that this is a step towards closing down the whole plant and moving production to the Balkans. We are following carefully what is happening at the plant and are informing our work colleagues of this. We protest very strongly at this kind of action and we will do our best to expose your plans. An injury to one is an injury to all.

Yours,

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Solidarity letter:

Dear brothers and sisters,

We have been informed by the comrades of Marxistiki Foni that the Coca-Cola bosses have announced 100 redundancies in your plant. It seems this is part of a more general plan to eventually close down the whole factory and move production to the Balkans. As usual, the bosses are looking for cheap labour, without any regard for the livelihood of the workers who for years have serevd them well and made profits for them.

We are sending you our solidarity and support and wish you well in your struggle.

Comradely,

……………


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