2nd Massive and successful strike of Call Center Workers of Greece

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With a massive new strike, for the second time in two weeks, call centre workers in five major companies in the sector, “Teleperformance”, “Webhelp”, TTEC, “Foundever” and “Cosmote e-Value”, sent a clear message to the employers with their demands!

With the sectoral Trade Union of Telecommunications – Information Technology Employees (SETIP) of Attica, their Trade Union Committees in the companies and the newly established Employees’ Union “Teleperfomance” (SETEP) in the lead stated that they do not tolerate living on crumbs, with an uncertain working future and in conditions of modern slavery, as most of them are migrants and their stay in Greece depends on whether they have a job or not.

Their mass participation in the morning picket lines outside the buildings of the companies where they work, and then their militant joint strike rally outside the Ministry of Labour, broke the employers’ efforts to prevent the workers from striking.

Many workers denounced meetings to which they were invited by employer representatives at Teleperfomance last week to convince them that they should not strike and that demands such as wage increases threaten the profitability and viability of the company! But the workers’ determination is not wavering. In fact, many workers reacted to the blackmail, either by calling on the employers on the spot to address only the union or by denouncing their strike-breaking methods to the union themselves.

Slogans “Enough is enough” and “Equal right, equal pay – change our visa right away” were heard in English, which refers to the way of staying in Greece and the conditions of the workers’ confinement by the “slave trade regime” of the “special purpose visa”. Also ‘One, two, three – raise the salary’ and ‘We strike, we fight – this is our right’, stressing that nothing can stop them from fighting.

Al. Perrakis, president of SETIP, speaking to the strikers, conveyed messages of solidarity from trade unions in India, Portugal, which have also declared a strike for call centre workers on 23 and 26 February respectively and other countries that expresses their solidarity.

He even pointed out that this strike has an even greater participation than the previous one, which had reached 3,000 strikers, a fact that was greeted with warm applause by the assembled strikers.

At the rally outside the Ministry of Labour, they spoke about the struggle of workers from almost all companies, stressing the power of collective and organised demand that participation in the strike exudes and that it is necessity that pushes them to fight.

During the rally, a delegation of SETIP and workers met with the Secretary General of the Ministry of Labour. They denounced the unacceptable refusal of the employers to negotiate on the demands they have submitted and the signing of CBAs, as well as their unacceptable attempts to “break” the strike. They also raised the demands for visas, benefits and pensions with the ministry, noting the pressure exerted by the strike action and the mass participation, both on the government and the employers.

In continuation of their action, the workers are organizing a new General Assembly, while an solidarity event – concert will be held in support of their struggle.




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