Mass Strike For Higher Wages in Greece

Mass Strike For Higher Wages in Greece

On 17 April, the General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE) announced a strike to demand higher wages amid the rising cost of living. Ships, trains, buses and taxis came to a standstill across the country.

Workers, students and pensioners marched to parliament in central Athens at midday in protest. Some of them were carrying placards, one of which read: “We don't want breadcrumb increases, we want it all.” [1].

The minimum wage in Greece has been raised four times in the last five years, but the capitalists have remunerated the workers with too few breadcrumbs so they can't keep up with the rising cost of goods. Currently, the monthly minimum wage in Greece is €830, and the average is €1,175. At the same time, the country's overall unemployment rate is 10% and among young people it is over 20%.

The union is demanding an immediate increase in the minimum wage to €908 and the restoration of collective agreements that were cancelled during the 2010-2018 debt crisis. During the meeting, the workers also demanded measures against inflation, the renunciation of imperialist wars and crimes and expressed solidarity with the Palestinian people [2].

After the crisis, the Greek economy grew twice as fast as the eurozone and almost fully recovered by 2023. However, the authorities only plan to raise the minimum and average salaries to €950 and €1,500 respectively in 2027, when the current prime minister's term ends. That is, to use this salary raise to increase the attractiveness of the current government before the next elections by showing “concern” for the people.

As the KKE (Communist Party of Greece) noted, the strike on 17 April was an indicator of the growing class struggle of the workers on the eve of the May Day strike against the government. The bourgeoisie is trying to prevent the May Day rally by postponing the date due to the Orthodox Easter holiday. [3].

The economy is growing and the population is impoverished - here is a brief description of the nature of capitalism. Greek workers can barely afford housing and basic necessities. Young people have no future in their own country and see emigration as the only way out. Only the transition from the capitalist mode of production to socialism with a planned economy can change this situation. The class struggle that is already underway in Greece is likely to exacerbate the contradictions in society. Only by winning this struggle is it possible to solve all the problems of capitalism and build socialism.

Sources: 1, 2, 3