Press Release About today's trial on the case of VIOME
With dozens gathered in solidarity, inside and outside of the courtroom, the trial for the case of Filgeram-Johnson liquidator’s request took place today. The liquidator asks that the Filipou family returns as the administration of VIOME, even as a provisional one. Filipou family are the ones who abandoned the factory and the workers, owing millions of euros, the ones who are condemned to many year of prison for their depts.
Since 9 o’clock in the morning, the crowd that was gathered in solidarity “occupied” the outer space of Thessaloniki’s courts, showing in this way their support to the struggle of the workers and their trade union. Apart from workers, unemployed, unionists and collectives, a happy surprise came when many members from the group of Austria’s Socialist Party youth, who were visiting Greece, participated in the protest, showing their support to the struggle.
Regarding the trial, the liquidator A. Semerdgidou, after asking the intervention of VIOME workers to be rejected, for not having “legal interest” (!!!!), she remained firm to her proposals and supported till the end the outrageous proposition for the return of the previous bosses. “With them as administration, VIOME produced qualitative and commercial products”, she said, as if the last four years never existed.
From the workers’ side, the representative of the VIOME trade union, as well as the second witness, G. Papakonstantinou, supported the right of the workers to take over the factory and run it by themselves, and to do whatever they can to avoid the bankruptcy of VIOME, that would lead to the eviction of the factory and the canceling of all their requests from the administration.
Specifically, Makis Anagnostou, from the workers’ side, totally deconstructed the arguments of the administration -that the advocate was constantly using- proving this way, with economic data how did Filipou family’s tactics lead to the closing of the factory. He talked about the possibilities and the perspectives that opened in front of the workers after the indifference showed from the administration, and supported that not only the machinery is not wore down, as the advocate claimed, but in the contrary, thanks to the presence of the trade union in the factory, the machinery is in perfect condition.
In addition, a painful impression was created, when a lawyer of “ex VIOME workers” turned up and claimed under oath that “the occupation of the factory is being held only by 4 people” (!!!!), something that caused the mockery of the crowd present in the courtroom. The same lawyer, claimed among other things, that he knows Filipou family very well, and that he believes that “they will help for the reopening of the factory”, a statement that sounded at the best a tasteless joke, for those who have followed even the basics of the case.
This time, at the court, the “ex workers” who have taken the part of the bosses didn´t appear, nor did anyone from Filipou family. We guess that they didn´t do it, because they don´t have the courage to confront the workers of VIOME and their families (who support the struggle for years now), and look at them in the eyes. Maybe they were ashamed to appear, but they keep having the nerve to put their lawyers to do shamelessly the “dirty job”.
Finally, we want to thank the hundreds of unemployed, workers, collectives and groups that supported the struggle, for one more time, gathering outside the courthouse of Thessaloniki, but also those who came to the protest today outside the Ministry of Labour, and to yesterday’s demonstration in Crete, to the intervention in Sparta, and the comrades from Italy who gathered outside the Greek Embassy last week. We are confident, that the decision of the court, which we will be waiting to come out in the weeks ahead, will not put another obstacle to the fair and extensive struggle of the workers. In any case, the solidarity movement showed today, that we are determined to do whatever we can so that this struggle will not step back.
The self-management of the workers in VIOME has come to stay
Open Initiative of Solidarity to the struggle of the workers of VIOME