Greek trade unionists face trial on 10 January and possible jail

Submitted by martin on 13 December, 2011 - 12:31

From LabourStart: 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. They will appear in court on Tuesday 10 January 2012 to face charges that could see them jailed for up to five years.

They were protesting against part of the Greek austerity measures - the cutting off of power to people unable to pay a new property tax, levied regardless of income or wealth and added to all electricity bills. The new tax is just the most recent 'austerity' action by the Greek government. The abolition of the national minimum wage and the lowering of employer-paid taxes are next.

Please take a moment to send a message to the Greek Prime Minister in support of the campaign by the Greek trade union confederation GSEE, which is calling for the charges to be dropped.

Just go here to send your message.

On 24 November 2011, squads of riot police (MAT) stormed the power company’s offices in Mesogeion Avenue in Athens and violently cleared it of workers and trade unionists who had been staging a sit-in for a few days.

The offices are responsible for cutting off the electricity supply to the thousands of working-class families that are refusing to pay the new property tax imposed by the Greek government by order of the Troika (IMF-European Commission-European Central Bank), which is being levied through the electricity bills. The same offices are in charge of cutting off the supply to the thousands of families which, due to the crisis, can no longer pay their bills.

On 30 November 2011, fifteen trade unionists, including GENOP-DEH General Secretary Nikos Photopoulos, appeared in court, charged with " obstructing the forces of order” and “obstructing the correct functioning of the public services ". They face prison sentences of 6 months to 5 years without remission. On the eve of a new general strike called for 1 December by the trade union confederations GSEE and ADEDY, the government decided it would be wiser to hold fire, and the court has postponed its ruling until 10 January 2012.

Messages to be sent to

GENOP-DEH Union: and

Greek Prime Minister Papademos

Greek Minister of Labour
Ministry of Labour
40 Pireos Str. 10182 Athens
Fax: +30 210 5295 186

Greek Minister of justice
Ministry of Justice
96, Messoghion Avenue 11527 Ambelopiki Athens Greece. Fax: +30 210 7755835

From the International Liaison Committee of Workers and Peoples (ILC),

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