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GREECE: National Strike of Workers in Pharmaceutical Industries

Another big battle in the Pharmaceutical industry was fought by the workers on July 5 for the signing of a sectoral Collective Labour Agreement that will guarantee working hours and give real increases in workers’ wages

With yesterday’s strike mobilization that spread to dozens of workplaces all over Greece, with many strikers making the step for the first time against employers’ intimidations, threats and open attempts at repression, against the employer’s attempt to keep workers divided and vulnerable, the Workers’ Federation and the unions demanded equal pay and treatment for all workers, regardless of employment relationship and form of work (e.g. contractor workers).

Since the early hours of morning, workers have been in positions, with picketing of their strike and interventions, in a number of workplaces: in factories, such as in “VIANEX”, “Rafarm”, “Demo”, “Beringer”, but also in warehouses such as in PIFASYN in Piraeus. Battles that responded to the attacks of the employers, which especially in the last few days included the dismissal of trade unionists, of founding members of unions and even pregnant women for daring to organise. But also the argument that “we are one family” that the employers in the big factories are promoting, recommending “patience” and rejecting the most crucial demands of the unions.

“We are not a family with the employers. The pharmaceutical industry is profitable, they advertise the increase in turnover, exports, everything that comes off our backs. And now the employers are looking at a billion euros in investments from the Recovery Fund, the same ones who tell us again to be patient and live with the crumbs,” the president of the Federation of Pharmaceutical Workers stressed, Yota Tavoulari, at the strike meeting held at the offices of the Association of Pharmaceutical Companies of Greece (SFEE), with the participation of strikers from many workplaces, including many who took the podium for the first time. From the headquarters of the SFEE they denounced the incident of vicious attack on the strikers that occurred at “VIANEX”

Specifically, at the company’s factory in Metamorphosis, the staff transport bus was “mobilized” against the strikers, and its driver almost threw it at them! In fact, the Federation points out that this man, in the role of a bouncer, attacked the strikers, bashing them, swearing vulgarly and unleashing an anti-communist torrent, as is usually the case in employer attacks.

“The strike annoys the employers”, the Federation noted and “informed” that “the workers are not afraid, we continue…”.

During the meeting of a delegation of the Federation and unions with the employers’ association SFEE, the workers won a commitment that next week they would have in their hands the comprehensive draft Agreement proposed by SFEE and requested by the Federation since May 9 while a new meeting with the Federation and unions was set.


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