Greece:Stop the prosecution of Nikos Photopoulos and his comrades from the GENOP-DEH union immediately!

Fifteen union leaders and rank-and-file member of the GENOP-DEH will appear in court on January 10, 2012. They face up to five years in prison without parole for expressing their opposition to the policies of the Troika (IMF, European Union, and European Central Bank) and for actively demonstrating their solidarity with the Greek people, who refuse by any and all means necessary to pay for a crisis created by the banksters and speculators.

The International Liaison Committee of Workers and Peoples, in close collaboration with the Greek unionists [see statement and interview below], has launched an international campaign to demand that all charges be dropped against the 15 GENOP-DEH trade unionists.

Given the seriousness of the charges and the very short time before the court ruling, the ILC and GENOP-DEH are especially asking to receive solidarity statements from national and international trade union bodies, national unions, and local unions and central labor councils — though individual endorsements are also welcome.

* * * * * * * * * *

Appeal by the International Liaison Committee of Workers and Peoples (ILC)

Stop the prosecution of Nikos Photopoulos and his comrades from the GENOP-DEH union immediately!

We have just been informed by representatives of the Greek public power union, GENOP-DEH, of the repression affecting 15 Greek members of the GENOP-DEH union:

On 24 November 2011, squads of riot police (MAT) stormed the power company’s facilities in Mesogeion Avenue in Athens and violently cleared it of workers and trade unionists who had been staging a sit-in/occupation for a few days. The offices are responsible for cutting off the electricity supply to the thousands of working-class families who have refused 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 who, due to the crisis, can no longer pay their bills.

On 30 November 2011, 15 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 parole. On the eve of the 1 December general strike called by the trade union confederations GSEE and ADEDY, the government decided it would be wiser to hold its fire; accordingly the court postponed its ruling until 10 January 2012.

Throughout the world, the workers and peoples are standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the Greek workers and their trade union organisations as they engage in the battle against the Troika’s barbaric plans implemented by the Greek government. The workers’ actions are legitimate, just as the actions of the Greek power workers and their trade union to prevent the power disconnections and to demand the withdrawal of the new tax imposed by the government are legitimate.

No worker, no labour activist, no democratic labour organisation can accept this threat of repression, which would be a blow against all labour and democratic rights.

This is why the International Liaison Committee of Workers and Peoples (ILC) has decided to inform all labour organisations around the world of these extremely serious facts, and to invite them to join in the effort, in whichever form they see fit, to demand that the Greek authorities immediately drop the legal proceedings against the GEOP-DEH union members, and to express their solidarity with them.

Louisa Hanoune, General Secretary of the Workers Party (Algeria)
Daniel Gluckstein, National Secretary of the Independent Workers Party (France )
Co-ordinators of the International Liaison Committee of Workers and Peoples

Messages should be sent to

GENOP-DEH Union : et
(copy to be sent to the ILC :

Greek Prime Minister Papademos

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

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



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