No Worker without Income
Protection for All the Unemployed Workers inthe Sector
The Trade Union of Tourism-Hotels-Catering of Athens along with the business Unions in Hotels held a press conference in Athens on May 16th, 2020 to announce its platform and plan of action for the protection of the workers in Tourism-Hotels
The Tourism class unions of Greece along with their demands send a message of solidarity and struggle to all Tourism-Hotel workers in Europe and around the world, who are currently under the same attack on their rights and are facing the risk of pandemics, thousands of layoffs and unpaid work. We are sending a message of solidarity to all the European unions that are fighting today, in France, in Italy, in Portugal and everywhere.
The Workers Are the Hotels, Cafes and Restaurants!
No Worker without Income
Protection for All the Unemployed Workers in the Sector
The class unions stated that in Greece of 33 million tourists last yearthe Tourism business groups had profits of more than €120billion in 2019.
These profits came from the exhausting work of the workers, with endless overtime, uninsured work and lack of payment, with fatal work accidents and occupational diseases, because they were working with non-existent Health and Safety measures.
Since the first days of the pandemic, the government and the EU provided the Tourism Corporationswith new, even larger privileges. New funding packages and tax exemptions. Money extracted after the brutal taxation of the working class,from all the recent governments in the past years, especially after the financial crisis.
On the contrary, since the beginning of the pandemic, the government approved measures that reduced workers’ salaries by more than 50% and allowed thousands of workers to be laid off.
They closed all hotels, catering and restaurants, leaving many of us without income, without any protection.They promoted individual responsibility as a solution for tackling the pandemic, while hospital shortages were in thousands and public health is a very expensive commodity.
Alongside with the employers, they called on the individual’sresponsibility at a time when no substantial Health and Safety measures were taken in food delivery restaurants. The delivery personnelwas exposed to the dangers of the road and the pandemic, with a single pair of gloves for 8 hours of work, while they were passing bythrough more than 100 houses during their shift.
Every public statement by business groups and the government is a blatant lie. All these yearsthey kept telling us that tourism is the country’s “heavy industry”. We kept telling them that tourism is a very expensive commodity, vulnerable to natural disasters, pandemics, but also to the consequences of competition and the war over who will dominate the lives of all people, all over the world.
Now we are told that the pandemic is to blame for everything. But the truth is that the crisis in our industry has reappeared because monopolies are not making profits. Because tourism has never been a right, it has never met the needs of the people for holidays and leisure.
And now, in the new crisis, which is bigger than the previous one, once again they expect us to pay for it. We say NO! We,the workers, did not participate in the planning of such a development, we are not responsible, we did not profit, we just lost.
We call all Tourism-Hotel workers, on May 28
tothe demonstrations of the Tourism-Hotel Unions
Now is the time for all of us to organize in our unions
To fight collectively, to defend our own interests!
We organize our struggle now to ensurethe income of all workers in our sector, with the responsibility of the state and the employers, regardless of the employment relationship.To re-employ all workers in the sectror as provided for in our collective agreements.
Organize Solidarity Committees in each union. No-one to be left alone, no-one to be without the basic necessities, so that he and his family can survive.
We want to give this battle together with the thousandsself-employed professionals in the catering sector, the smallshops,who face,like the workers, deadlocks from this policy.
For us workers, there is no choice but to claim all that belongs to us.
Our preparation for the Demonstrations on May 28 includeactions, protests, campaigning, general assemblies in workplaces and areas all over Greece. We will keep escalating with all forms of struggle also in June.
- In Big hotels
- In the big Municipalities
- In tourism schools
- With mass actions in the historic center of Athens.
Also, on Monday, May 18th, a protest took place at Royal Olympic were the workers have not been paid since February.
We Paid A Lot – We Will Not Pay Again!
We Will Not Sacrifice Ourselves Once Again For The Profits Of Big Business!