Greek government outlaws teachers strike


Robert Stevens

13 May 2013

The Greek New Democracy-led coalition government signed a civil mobilisation order Saturday in order to outlaw a teachers strike, scheduled to begin on May 17.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras signed the decree after the OLME secondary school teachers union leadership had voted, the previous day, for the strike to go ahead. The union authorised another five-day strike from Monday May 20, pending agreement by its local chapters.

The Greek government is continuing a policy that effectively outlaws industrial action. Its policies are akin to those of the most naked dictatorship.

Civil mobilisation orders were originally only used in times of national emergencies such as earthquakes. But since the advent of mass austerity in Greece in 2008, the undemocratic legislation has been used exclusively to smash up any opposition by workers to their pauperisation. The order nominally drafts those workers targeted into the military, by conscription, and carries the threat of mass firings, arrests and jail sentences of up to five years for any who then resist or defy military discipline.

The decree sanctions the mobilisation of all 88,000 of Greece’s secondary school teachers and comes into effect from 12 noon on May 15, ahead of the May 17 strike, scheduled to coincide with this year’s university entrance examinations that 110,000 students are set to take. It is the first time that a civil mobilisation order has been imposed prior to a planned strike.

The New Democracy, social democratic PASOK, Democratic Left coalition are on a war footing. Every secondary school teacher in Greece faces the sack. As the order was signed, New Democracy spokesman Makis Voridis said he did not exclude the possibility of laying off those teachers who do not comply with the order.

This is the third time such an order has been used against workers this year. In January the government issued a civil mobilisation order backed by hundreds of riot police who brutally smashed up a nine-day strike by Athens subway workers. This was followed by the extension of civil mobilization to 2,500 rail and tram workers, after they protested the suppression of the subway workers.

In July 2010, the

This article originally appeared on : World Socialist Web Site