Dear Fellow Workers & Comrades,
There have been various labour rights as well as moral rights issues at ETPA Packaging Factory in the industrial area of Komotini, in Greece, ongoing since before December 2011, which include the sacking and reinstating of the General Secretary of the ETPA Labour Union, as well as the dismissal of a 54 year old ex-cancer patient whom the company could have been asked to pay contributions for until she got her pension if they had kept her on to the age of 55.
The dismissal was extremely hard on this comrade who is divorced with two unemployed daughters to support in these times of severe austerity measures, such as those implemented in Greece.
Please see attached letter of protest I have posted out to international customers of ETPA Packaging (johnson & johnson, famar, unilever, sara lee. proctor & gamble & bayer).
If any of you have the time to send protest letters or messages of Solidarity this would be greatly appreciated as well as any publicity you can give.
In the mean time if you have any items of news you would like to forward to me or calls for Solidarity actions, please send them and I will forward them to our internal lists and International Solidarity Lists.
Andy Smith (International Solidarity Liaison Officer IWW, BIRA)
It has come to the attention of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) that you are customers of a company involved in labour rights abuses in Greece.
The company in question ETPA Packaging (Formally called ETPA Provoli) whose head office is in Athens and factory is in the industrial area of Komotini.
Workers at the factory are afraid to stand up to abuses there and are being forced to leave their Union (ETPA Labour Union) for fear of dismissals.
The General Secretary of their Union was dismissed and recently reinstated in a different job, a cleaning job that involves using solvents for which she has not been given adequate protective clothing which contravenes health and safety standards, flies in the face of all labour laws and is a clear attempt to try and force her to resign.
There have also been moral abuses such as the dismissal of a 54 year old woman who is an ex cancer patient, divorced with two unemployed daughters to support.
Although this was not a legal violation we feel it was an ethical violation as the company could have been asked to pay her contributions once she reached 55 years of age until she got her pension, which would have helped to support her and her family.
As we are sure you know, times are very hard for the Working class people of Greece at the moment due to the severe austerity measures forced upon them by their government under pressure from the likes of the IMF and we would insist you as a global company apply pressure on ETPA Packaging to conform to decent labour rights standards and end their abuses of peoples rights to freedom of association as well as expression.
As a world wide Union the IWW will be discussing a Solidarity campaign with other Unions and Activists and look forward to hearing from you soon with news of your efforts to help stop these attacks on the Working classes.
Andy Smith, International Solidarity Liaison Officer