During all this time, we have had to cope with the inhuman, arrogant and, most importantly, provocative attitude of our former employer, who takes for granted that he can do business and get richer and richer to the detriment of his employees, in the most vulgar way imaginable: by leaving unpaid all those laid-off workers that he sent to unemployment, and by exploiting his debts towards them in order to expand his business activities.
In these two years, we have realized that Andreas Kouris is able to act the way he does because he feels sure about himself and believes that the system has his back. This is the reason why he has never accepted to meet us, he did not get unnerved by the fines imposed to him by the Labour Inspection Office, he outrageously ignored the three-party meeting in which had been called by then-Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Labour, and he has never set foot in any of the trials against him, some times without even sending an attorney to the courts, although he continues to get one conviction after another.
However, Andreas Kouris does not only count on the lengthy and favourable to employers judicial process for labour conflict in order to get away with it all. The fact that recently he has been doing business with the State, that there is a steady inflow of State advertisement to his MAD channel, as well as the generous “bonuses” he has been granted through dirty donations by the Post Bank and the OPAP, reveal that Kouris has strong connections. This is proved by the support he has received by politicians that have performed and still perform major parts in the destruction of the country, including current Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, the indescribable former Minister Michalis Liapis and former Minister of National Economy and Economics Georgios Alogoskoufis.
What is even more outrageous and doubly provocative is that in this case the State does business with an entrepreneur that owes money to… the State, has been temporarily imprisoned and still awaits trial for these debts. And yet, Kouris has been officially encouraged for the second consecutive time to organize the Eurovision “Greek final”, through his MAD channel, thanks to a direct (uncontested) assignment by the Public Television – a procedure completely opaque and even more scandalous than the one through which he had been assigned to organize last year’s event by former ERT’s Board of Administration, a few months before the government closed down ERT, laying off 2,500 workers.
Moreover, while Kouris claims that has “no money” to pay us and gets rid of his assets the one after another, as he realizes that time is running out against him, he recently filed a lawsuit against us for “criminal defamation”, in his effort to criminalize our struggle.
We are determined to continue the struggle we have been waging for the last two years, drawing strength from the solidarity that has been shown to us in practice during all this time by trade unions, workers’ collectives and local assemblies.
In our belief that when injustice becomes the law, resistance becomes a duty, we are organizing another demonstration, and we call all those who supported our previous demonstrations and all those who believe that incompliant struggle is the only way possible to support us once again.
Two years of struggle and counting,
until our final vindication!
The Laid-off Workers of Metropolis Music Stores