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Τρίτη, 26 Νοεμβρίου 2013

Protest outside the Greek headquarters of Doctors Without Borders, in Athens



To the Board of Administration of MSF International 

On Friday, the 8th of November 2013, we, the laid-off and unpaid workers of the Metropolis music stores, organized a gathering outside the Greek headquarters of Doctors Without Borders in Athens, in order to protest against the participation of a group of persons backed up by Metropolis music stores’ owner (and our former employer), Greek media mogul Andreas Kouris, in the Athens Classical Marathon 2013, along with the team set up by the Greek branch of Doctors Without Borders. This is the text that we delivered to the spokespersons of Doctors Without Borders, to be communicated to the international headquarters of the organization, in Switzerland, as well as to unions and workers' collectivities around the world.


Αthens, 8/11/2013


To:  The Greek Office of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)


We are laid off workers of the –once mighty– Metropolis music stores chain. For two years now we have been fighting, taking both legal and direct action, to be paid the wages and compensations that are rightfully owed to us and are being illegally withheld from us by businessman Andreas Kouris. Andreas Kouris also owns MAD Mass Media Corporation, active both in Greece and abroad. 


A while back we were informed that a team of employees of MAD channel will run with the Doctors Without Borders team in the classic Athens Marathon this Sunday, November 10, under central motto ‘We are running together against the pain of others’. We considered the fact that an employer –who keeps expanding his business activities and who, at the same time, is denying to pay his outstanding debts to employees that he fired– is participating in a major athletic event with a humanitarian organization, ‘running against the pain of others’ no less, to be quite hypocritical, since he has caused immense pain to us.

Believing that, in this way, Andreas Kouris is trying to make himself look good, but also to deceive, we asked from the Greek Office of Doctors Without Borders to ‘freeze’ the participation of the MAD team in the Marathon along with the team of the organization.

The people in charge of the Greek Office of the organization, saying that they are not responsible and stating their capacity exclusively as doctors, basically refused to do so.  

We ask of those who manage the Greek Office of Doctors Without Borders, whom we consider to be fully aware of the meaning of impoverishment, to reexamine their tactics regarding issues that lead different social groups to impoverishment, by tracing its causes and the people who cause it, since prevention is still the best treatment.  They should take into account that Greece is not so far from the arrival of a humanitarian crisis, which will include us as its first victims. Also, we would like them to let the central administration of the organization know about our protest today, so that they can handle similar situations that might arise in the future due to the economic crisis which is already expanding to many countries worldwide.

Both us and those who stand in solidarity to our struggle, are convinced that hypocrisy, in any way, shape or form it may manifest itself, is not in the least compatible with humanitarianism.

Laid off workers of ‘Metropolis’ stores
 


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