Giannis Tasioulas – Greece – Federation of Construction Workers and Allied Trades
On the situation of the workers in your country
The situation of the workers in the construction sector in Greece exhibits the same symptoms with the situation of all the workers around the world who are suffering due to the capitalist crisis. The unemployment rate is extremely high, as in some cases it reaches 90%. There is a reduction of 30-40% in the incomes of workers’ families, due to laws passed by the previous governments of PASOK and ND, which cancelled the collective agreements. Today we have a continuation of the implementation of high taxes, attacks on social provisions and social insurance. The poor classes and their families are suffocating. The class-based unions which are connected with PAME, have organized general, nationwide strikes on 12 November and 3 December. Because of the high numbers of workers who participated in the strikes, it seems that people realise that there is still hope for solving their problems through our struggles.
On the main challenges your union is facing today
We are defending our lives from the policies which endanger it by defining a context of demands about our needs. We are showing, through our struggle, a way out which ensures development through a rekindling of building activity in order to meet the needs of the lower classes, which are today crashed by the capitalist system due to the big monopolies which try to maximize their profits. It’s absurd having growing needs for works (ie anti-flood ones) and not doing them because they are not a priority for the European Union and the capital in general, as they are not profitable. So, we are trying to organize the struggle based on this class-based line of thought.
On the role of UITBB in the future
UITBB is the organization which expresses the class-based line in the construction and wood sectors internationally. As a member of WFTU, it can play an important role in strengthening this class-based line, extract the appropriate results and show the way that can lead to the liberation of the workers from the bonds of capitalist barbarity and the abolition of human exploitation. UITBB is the organization which guides this course and we will help in any way we can to reach as many unions and workers as possible, to reveal the agenda of the trade unionism of governments, employers, the so-called free trade unions and the confederation of European syndicates which promote the EU line which is nothing else than merely conforming with the bosses.