PAME steadfast on the side of migrant workers

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 On November 20-21, a delegation of the PAME, the Regional Trade Union Centers of Amaliada, Patras and the National Federation of Workers in Food Industries held a massive campaign to the plantations that work and to the slums that live in miserable conditions the thousands of migrant workers of Manolada.

Videos from PAME

(with English Subtitles) The miserable working conditions of migrant workers

https://youtu.be/XKxfvWq4DYM

(in Bengali and Greek) From the meeting

https://youtu.be/8X_h7U5B9vM

Photos

PAME Campaign and meeting of migrant workers

https://flic.kr/s/aHsmXaNh6o

The miserable working conditions of migrant workers

https://flic.kr/s/aHsmX9SBaq

Thousands of workers from Bangladesh, Pakistan and other countries are being victimized by the region’s most miserable exploitation of the “strawberries of wrath”.

After being brought by the hundreds from their countries, without papers, without insurance, without rights, the landlords throw thousands of young children like modern slaves in the strawberry fields, oranges and other crops in the region, promising papers and a better life.

Despite the small increases that have been given to the daily wages after the big struggles and mobilizations of the previous period, they cannot cover their daily needs. The land workers remain the slaves of the landlords and the embassies. They are not provided with the necessary documents despite the fact that some even work for 10-15 years in Greece, creating huge profits for the big landowners.

The lack of documents is exploited to hold them hostage in an inhumane situation and dangerous conditions. They do not have insurance, AMKA (Social Security number) and any protection in case of accident – which is a very common phenomenon -. They are not allowed to get Covid vaccines, not even when universal vaccination of the entire population is a priority for the Government. They remain without access to healthcare centers and hospitals.

At the same time, in “GREECE 2.0” of the 21st century, thousands of our fellow human beings are stacked in slums made of reeds and nylon, in the mud and garbage, without electricity, without running water! At the same time that some people eat golden steaks, at the same time for others life goes back to the Dark Ages, where the existence of water supply and sewerage is a demand!

Both the local authorities and the Government have a huge responsibility, which allows the strawberries owners in the area to create favelas in Greece, where they even charge € 20 per head. While the tariff goes up to 30 and 40€ per head for 15-20 people to stay together in a warehouse or sheepfold! A shack, without electricity and water in Manolada and costs more than the cost of a luxury apartment in Athens to stack dozens of people in disgraceful conditions.

In fact, the local authorities and the Ministry of Health do not even care about the dangers posed to public health by the garbage that accumulates and the lack of even basic water and sewerage infrastructure.

This whole situation was created with the tolerance of governments and local authorities who swear by “GROWTH” and “ENTREPRENEURSHIP”. This is the picture behind the curtain.

The savage, cold, inhuman exploitation of migrant workers, the cultivation of xenophobia and racism, so that a few large producers can grow their profits undisturbed.

The class unions gave a resounding response to this situation. With visits to dozens of fields, camps and shacks, they called on migrant workers to organize and fight for their rights. Throughout the plain, in all languages was heard the slogan GREEKS AND FOREIGN WORKERS UNITED

In the area where “unknowns” had previously retaliated by burning the shacks of immigrants in Nea Manolada, on Sunday, November 21, with the support of PAME and the unions, a mass meeting of land workers was held simultaneously in 3 languages.

With songs, slogans, speeches and open discussion the land workers spoke, discussed and decided to organize their struggle. They elected a Committee and unanimously voted on a common list of demands which claims:

From the state, from the Ministries and the involved bodies, the issuance of the legal documents of all the workers in the fields of the wider area of Manolada.

The immediate issuance of AMKA to all employees and the immediate vaccination regardless of conditions. The immediate issuance of the documents to all those who lost them in the camp fire.

Immediate vaccination of all for COVID – 19.

The insurance coverage of all employees medical and pension.

Insurance stamp for each day of work. Health and safety measures in the workplace. Decent day wage.

State, region, Municipality and employers to provide solutions to housing and sanitation problems. It is necessary to make all the necessary infrastructure so that we can finally get out of the slums we live in. Our health is burdened by nylon, mosquitoes and dirt.

Strengthening the health structures of the region with doctors and nurses to meet the needs of all Greeks and immigrants

PAME firmly on the side of migrant workers supports the just demands of migrant land workers in Manolada and the wider region. With organization, solidarity and mass action we can give an answer to modern barbarism.

We call on the unions to strengthen the common struggle of migrants and Greek workers against the common enemy for our modern rights to wages, life and health. Against the exploitation of man by man which has today’s wealthiest people are traveling to the moon and the working class goes back to the Dark Ages and misery

 

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