[Marxism] Greece: International solidarity with the workers of VIOME

Dayne Goodwin daynegoodwin at gmail.com
Fri Apr 3 13:42:30 MDT 2015

[see Phil Ferguson from Feb. 11

VIO.ME.  Occupy, Resist, Produce!
Solidarity to the struggle of the workers of the Vio.Me. factory in
Thessaloniki, Greece, for self-management!

International solidarity with the workers of VIOME in front of the
imminent threat of liquidation of the company

The workers of VIOME in Thessaloniki, Greece, have stood up against
unemployment and poverty by carrying through a long struggle to
self-manage the occupied factory in very adverse conditions. For two
years now, they have been producing and selling ecological cleaning
products at the occupied premises, ensuring a modest income for their
families. They have been working on terms of equality, taking
decisions collectively through the general assembly. At the same time
they have received a big wave of solidarity from Greece and abroad,
converting their struggle into an emblematic struggle for human
dignity in crisis-stricken Greece.

The ex-owners of the factory, the Fillipou family, have never stopped
trying to obstruct the process, posing legal hurdles in every step
along the way. Four years ago they abandoned the factory, keeping all
the benefits to themselves and leaving millions in unpaid wages to the
workers, condemning their families to poverty and misery. Today they
appear again, conspiring with the state-appointed bankruptcy
administrators and the judicial system in order to liquidate the

While the ex-owners were convicted to 123 months in jail at first
instance for the millions owed to the workers, the court of appeals
reduced this sentence to a 43 months suspended sentence, thus in
effect absolving the ex-owners from having to ever pay back the

At the same time, on March 23 there is a new trial to evaluate the
administrator’s request to liquidate the machinery and the premises.
If the court rules in favour, big financial and real estate interests
will have the opportunity to gain a foothold in the VIOME premises.

The workers of VIOME and the national and international solidarity
movement are determined to resist a possible sell off by any means
available. On Friday, March 20 we are carrying out a protest at
Thessaloniki’s city centre, including a farmers market and the direct
sale of the VIOME products to the public. On Monday, March 23 we
gather in front of the court house, to protest against the intention
of the administrators and the judges to liquidate and sell off the
company and its premises, to condemn the workers and their families to
unemployment and misery in order to serve the interests of the

Furthermore we declare that, regardless of the ruling of the court, we
are determined to stand our ground and defend the VIOME factory, a
workplace that was kept alive thanks the determination of the workers
and the solidarity of the wider community. We refuse to surrender it
to the judicial powers, which have repeatedly denied justice to the
workers and the underprivileged.

Our destiny is now in our own hands, we manage our work and our lives
ourselves. We will not permit anyone to destroy what we have built
with so much effort. We declare to the judges, the police, the
administrators, the ex-owners and any prospective buyers:


More information about the Marxism mailing list