Under instructions from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the Greek government pushed through the most anti-union legislation in Europe on Monday 15 January.
The move was demanded, along with other draconian measures, as a condition of the latest tranche of what is called Greece’s bailout but which in reality is bailing out the European financial institutions which recklessly encouraged Greek borrowing.
The key concession required from the Syriza government was that industrial action would now require a yes vote from more than half of the total number of union members in a workplace, regardless of the actual turnout. This is even worse than the provisions in the Trade Union Act which came into law in the UK in March 2016.
Astonishingly – or perhaps not – there has been not one word about this from the TUC, which continues its scaremongering about the effect of Brexit on workers’ rights. While it prattles on, the European Union is turning the screw on the most fundamental of all workers’ rights, the right to strike, and using Greece as a test bed for policies it would like to see across all member states.
Without the right to take effective strike action, workers have no protection save the courts, and capitalist courts consistently favour the employers.
The European Court of Justice ruled (in the Laval case, 18 December 2007), that employers have the right to bring workers from…