|“They told me to wear the uniform”
A teacher protests in front of parliament on 13 May in Syntagma square
Picture by @MakisSinodinos
Greek secondary education teachers, together with various groups who joined them in solidarity, held a demonstration yesterday in front of parliament to protest the government’s decision to issue preemptively a civil mobilization order for 86,000 teachers in order to prevent a possible strike on the first day of the national university entry exams, as proposed by the Federation of Secondary Education Teachers (OLME). The Council of State, Greece’s highest administrative court, rejected yesterday a request by OLME for temporary suspension of the civil mobilization order, despite the dubious legality and constitutionality of back-to-work legislation issued before a formal decision to go on strike is officially approved by regional unions.
Teachers are the third professional group, after employees of the Athens metro and sailors, to be hit by a civil mobilization order since the current coalition government was elected to power. Trucking contractors and municipal workers’s strikes were also broken in this way in 2010 and 2011. Of a total of 11 civil mobilization orders issued in Greece since the fall of the Junta, 5 were issued in the framework of bailout austerity policies.
|Picture by @Polyfimos|
There were abundant references to the Junta in yesterday’s demonstration to protest the government’s authoritarian management of labour issues. Teachers dressed in military fatigues brought a mock tank and held a banner with the phoenix, the symbol of the Regime of the Colonels, reading “Greece for mobilized Greeks”, a parody of the far-right slogan “Greece for Christian Greeks.” Demonstrations against civil mobilization were also held in Thessaloniki, Patra, Pyrgos, Tripoli, Larissa, Corinth, Nafplio, Xanthi, Kavala, Kefallonia, Kozani, Messologgi, Zakynthos, Heraklion, Ioannina, Chania and Kalamata.
|Picture by @Polyfimos|
Update 14:20 EEST: @O_Kanalarhis reports that the police are distributing mobilization orders even in classrooms and in schools where teachers are holding general assemblies to vote on OLME’s proposal to strike. This picture of a mobilization order taken by @Polyfimos during yesterday’s rally in Syntagma square states that it comes in effect on 15 May and is open-ended. In other words, the teachers’ right to strike has been revoked until further notice.