On Thursday, May 23rd, the Congress of the European Trade Union Confederation gave the floor to the –imposed by court order and not elected- President of the General Confederation of Greek Workers, Yiannis Panagopoulos.
It is no coincidence that his speech, which began with the defense of Juncker and the ETUC, was spent in slander, lies and anti-communism, while he did not find a word to say about the struggles and demands of Greek workers. Struggles, in which he never took part. Struggles which he opposed and undermined them systematically!
On the contrary, with tears in his eyes, he spoke about the struggles of the trade union mafia in the leadership of GSEE against Stalinism!!! It’s hard not to laugh when we know that the “gentleman of 100,000€” is also the following:
- Panagopoulos is a cadre of the PASOK Social Democratic Party in Greece that is the party that imposed the 1st antiworkers’ Memorandum in Greece.
- Panagopoulos is a member of the party, PASOK, which was in coalition government with ND(conservative party) and the far-right, racist party LAOS and together they imposed the 2nd Memorandum.
- Panagopoulos is a member of the party, PASOK, which voted YES in the referendum on the 3rd Memorandum and then voted again YES in the Parliament along with SYRIZA, New Democracy and the far right ANEL.
- At the ETUC Congress, Mr. Panagopoulos called for a vote for Social Democrats against the extreme right – that is the extreme right with which he is in cooperation all these years. While at the same time, he repeats the reactionary and dangerous position of the EU and the fascists of the “two extremes”.
At the same time, the ETUC, which a few weeks ago had attempted again to intervene in the internal affairs of the Greek trade union movement, called on Mr. Panagopoulos to repeat the slander and lies of the fascists against the militant workers of Greece. We note:
- Mr Panagopoulos’ right hand in the PASOK-KINAL faction in the GSEE, presented as a trade unionist is Mr. Karageorgopoulos, a businessman-employer-owner of a slave-trade outsourcing company.
- The PASOK faction at the GSEE, along with the trade unionists of SYRIZA, ND, and fascists of golden dawn imposed a series of trade union organizations on “congresses” of violence and fraud, using criminals, riot police and undercover agents
- The trade union mafia at the GSEE leadership in the elections of dozens of unions imposed the presence and election of employers, bank executives and managers of big business groups in the leaderships of workers’ unions.
- Panagopoulos, because he does not know what a workplace lookslike, confuses workers’ actions with the mercenary henchmen used by his faction in a series of union congresses against the real representatives of the workers.
- It is such the distance that separates Mr. Panagopoulos from the working class that his faction even proposed the replacement of the word “workers” in the name of General Confederation of Workers of Greece!!!
- Panagopoulos, a cadre of PASOK, in cooperation with the far right, is paid over 100,000€ a year to say what he says.
- For this reason, he found himself in the so-called “anti-far right” ETUC Congress to spread the slander and the lies of Golden Dawn, of the far-right fascists against the alive, the militant unions of Greece. Besides, Golden Dawn supported them all this time.
Mr. Panagopoulos and the Trade Union Mafia in the GSEE leadership are the result of the line of class collaboration, of social dialogues and the submission of the workers of Europe to the monopolies and imperialism. Mr Panagopoulos is not the exception, but the rule in the confederations of Europe as the ETUC transforms Europe’s trade unions into employers’ mechanisms, bureaucracies with huge wages that have nothing to do with the struggles and needs of the working class.
The All Workers Militant Front, PAME, which represents the living, the militant, class-oriented trade unions of Greece, calls on the workers of Europe, the trade unions that really represent workers and are fighting against the antiworkers’ policies, to draw conclusions about the European Trade Union Confederation, the ETUC-CES and its role.
Today it is necessary to strengthen the struggle for unions that belong to the workers. Trade unions that will fight to defend workers against the employers, against the EU and the anti-people’s governments.
To strengthen the co-ordination of the militant forces in Europe’s trade union movement against bureaucracy and corruption within the trade unions, against the line of class cooperation and social dialogues.
To strengthen the workers’ struggle against poverty, unemployment, imperialist wars and the system that creates them.