Five years after the Wall Street crash of September 2008, figures compiled by Britain’s House of Commons Library on wage rates in the 27-member European Union show that workers’ living standards have been thrown into sharp reverse.
The statistics belie claims that the euro zone has “turned the corner” with a modest rise in growth over the last quarter. The situation is particularly acute in those countries that have been subject to the dictates of the “troika”—the EU, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF)—which has overseen massive cuts in social spending as demanded by the international banks.
In Greece, wages have fallen by 11.3 percent since the autumn of 2010 [EPAM-International’s comment: the actual wage reduction is much bigger!]. The UK’s Institute for Fiscal Studies has (more…)
I woke up this morning to the shocking news of a shooting incident in Nea Manolada in which over 30 people were injured, several seriously. The victims were all migrant workers mainly from Bangladesh who work in the strawberry fields in the area. The workers had gathered (allegedly) to demand wages that had been unpaid for 6 months when they were shot at by at least one of the three Greek supervisors.
This is not the first time this area has been in the news:
Manolada has been at the center of cases involving violence against migrant workers a number of times in recent years. Last year, two Greek men were arrested for beating a 30-year-old Egyptian, jamming his head in the window of a car door and dragging him for around one kilometer.
I am speechless at the moment as to how to respond. It sounds so much like an incident that would happen in South Africa or a developing country… not in Europe. How have we come to this ? (more…)
Solidarity to the struggle of the workers of Vio.Me. factory in Thessaloniki, Greece, for self-management!
A great 30-minute documentary shot in the premises of Vio.Me a few weeks before production started. The workers document the shutting down of the company, their decision to self-manage it and the birth of the solidarity movement.