Peiraeus dockworkers strike strong despite political and international pressure

Peiraeus dockworkers strike strong despite political and international pressure

The strike of 1.500 dockworkers holds strong in Peiraeus despite rising political pressure from the Socialist government and the Chinese Embassy.

The dockworkers' strike in Peiraeus, Greece's largest harbour, is on its 15th day and has been extended until Sunday 18 October, bringing the newly sworn Socialist government of Greece to the verge of a nervous breakdown. Despite promises of renegotiation by the Minister of Economy Ms Katseli, the strikers are hardening their demands, refusing any middle-ground solution and demanding the deal with COSCO scraped. This has caused the Chinese government to intervene, with the Chinese Ambassador in Athens calling at the Ministry and demanding the strike deemed illegal. The international pressure has led to the first government crisis a week after elections, with the PM calling an urgent ministerial assembly to find a solution to the problem.

According to estimates the greek public sector is currently loosing 5 million euros a day due to the strike, while the harbour itself is burdened by another half a million euros daily. This has allowed the bourgeois media to launch a vilification campaign against the strikers and their anti-colonization discourse. The Socialist government enjoys an all-media support since its landslide victory in October 4 on all social, economic and political fronts

Posted By

Oct 15 2009 08:18


Attached files


Oct 16 2009 08:43

As an update in the evening of Thursday 17 October, both the president and the general director of OLP (the docklands in question), submitted their resignation to the ministry of the ecnomy, accusing the government of mismanaging the crisis. Other members of the governing council of OLP followed, also offering their resignation. The resignations have not been accepted by the government at this point. Within the next hours the workers are expected to announce if they will continue their strike after Sunday (Saturday and Sunday do not legally fall withing the framework of working days, so the strike during the weekend is typically speaking a "refusal for weekend overtime work", not a strike. The lease to COSCO would mean the early retirement (by spring 2010) of the entire working force of the leased docks, 1.500 workers.

Oct 18 2009 15:55

Final update: the dockworkers have decided not to extend their strike, as after talks with the Minister of the Economy, Ms Katseli they have come to a primarily satisfactory conclusion: the government has decided to "freeze" the deal with COSCO for the next 15 days so as to negotiate new conditions of the harbours management, and to guarantee the security of jobs for the 1500 dockworkers. The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) has expressed its regret at the end of the strike.