On Tuesday, April 18 took place a tough strike at the EMFI factory (formerly EVGA), which was called by the National Federation of Workers in Food – Beverages industries against the dangerous working conditions that threaten the health and life of workers and the need to continue the struggle for the adoption of essential measures, so that workers can return home from work.
The reason for this strike mobilization, which “froze” production, showing who has the power in their hands, was the recent fatal work “accident”, when their 51-year-old colleague Vangelis Tsambas died while working. The worker was one of those who had been working long hours with exhausting continuous 12-hour-day shifts imposed by the employer.
The strike started on Monday night and there was great support from workers and unions in other sectors and workplaces who stood by the strikers. They were also joined by students from the Agricultural University, which is adjacent to the factory and has consistently joined the workers in mobilizations.
Armed with the massive solidarity the EMFI workers successfully fought their battle against the employers who did everything in their power, especially Tuesday morning, to set up a strike-breaking mechanism. They recruited top executives, legal advisers, prosecutors and riot police, while constantly putting pressure on workers to return to work.
EMFI workers #strike
When workers' die at work… no reaction
When workers' strike the police arrives immediately
No more workers'blood
For the profits of the bosses pic.twitter.com/b09gyiIof7
— PAME Greece International (@PAME_Greece) April 18, 2023
When riot police arrived at the factory, workers denounced saying
“The day when we mourned our colleague, nowhere did we see either company officials or police. Only the union and workers were here. Today that we are on strike we see riot police, company legal advisers and so on… Their only concern is to break the strike, that’s all they care about: Their production and their profitability! They don’t give a damn about our lives!”
It is noted that days after the death of the worker, the Labour Inspectorate has not yet carried out an autopsy at the workplace to see whether and to what extent the necessary measures for Health and Safety at Work are observed! But the police turned up in “dt time” to protect the “right to work to death”!
During the strike, the workers held a massive General Assembly, where they decided on specific demands to convert the contracts of workers from fixed-term to indefinite contracts. The company should be responsible for training seminars on fire, earthquake and first aid in coordination with the fire brigade, ambulance, safety technician and occupational physician. Also, immediate recruitment of permanent qualified staff in specific departments and the signing of a Collective Agreement with wage increases.