Statement of SYRIZA’s Department of Labor Policy on the general strike of 4 February.
SYRIZA’s Department of Labor Policy salutes the general strike declared for Thursday, 4 February by the workers, unions, and syndicates, fighting to defend the redistributive public social security system for all.
After the neoliberal choices that literally looted public insurance funds (losses of €24 billion between 2009 to 2014) and led to the pauperization of the retired laborers (due to a €26 billion pension cut), even today forces within and outside the country insist on the same recipe and propose new cuts to the public and supplementary pension systems.
And all this has been happening while:
- Public insurance funds, in 2011, experienced a dramatic reduction of their property by €13 billion through the implementation of the PSI by the Samara–Venizelos government.
- During the last 40 years, the reserves were literally looted through their forced deposit in the Bank of Greece with zero interest, while inflation has been at 25%.
- During the crucial decade of 1990-2000, under the responsibility of specific political forces, state funds were forced to participate in the “stock market party” and furthermore in the investment waterloo of structural bonds, with incalculable losses of tens of billions of Euros.
All this has led the country’s public insurance system on a track of unsustainability and has caused the need for measures in order for it to stand on their feet again. However, the measures to be implemented should mainly focus on the income side, rather than the benefit payments.
The country’s public insurance system will not be back on track as long as the unemployment rate hovers around 25%, the uninsured workforce exceeds 20% and flexible labor forms are the norm for many companies.
SYRIZA’s Department of Labor Policy supports the government’s effort to defend pensions and the creation of a system with redistributive character, based on the solidarity among generations. In addition, it calls upon the government not to proceed with any pension cuts and to resist the plans of lenders and their local allies.
Workers must fight for:
- The recapitalization of public insurance funds as well as for support through social resources. These resources will emerge from a redistribution process for the benefit of the world of labor.
- An effective framework that will confront the delinquencies within the labor market by strengthening inspections and controls.
- The restoration of collective bargaining.
- The substitution of austerity throughout Europe through a courageous program of public investment, which tackles the central problem of unemployment.
The solutions that we need can not emerge from the forces and the logic of the "free market", but only from the support of social demands, solidarity and democracy and from the struggles of the world of labor and the people.
— Please note that this is not an official translation – translated by transform! europe —