Australian Unions have expressed solidarity with the people of Greece and their labour movement ahead of the Greek election on January 25.

ACTU President Ged Kearney said Australian Union leaders have signed a statement arguing against austerity measures entitled ‘Let Greece Breathe’.

“Australian Unions are urging the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Central Bank and the European Commission to negotiate in good faith with the new government that will be formed to cancel debt, allow it to restore workers’ rights to collective bargaining, minimum wage pensions and support its efforts to rebuild the Greek economy on a fair and sustainable pathway,” said Ms Kearney.

“The union movement in Australia and around the world is committed to protecting the rights of workers and fighting for a better life.

“The ACTU is deeply concerned about the impact austerity measures are having on the lives of Greek people.
“It is the role of unions to speak up on these issues and signing the ‘Let Greece Breathe’ statement is a way Australian unions can support our colleagues in Greece,” said Ms Kearney.

The statement is an initiative of the Australia–Greece Solidarity Campaign whose coordinator, Mr Adam Rorris, is urging the Australian government to exercise its votes at the IMF, World Bank and other multi-lateral finance agencies to support an end to the failed austerity program for Greece.

“Australia is much respected in the United Nations, the International Labour Organisation, the IMF and World Bank and should be arguing to other national governments that austerity has been a disaster for Greece and Europe as a whole, and that they should all support the democratic wishes of the Greek people,” said Mr Rorris.

Ms Kearney said the Australian union movement is committed to supporting countries in crisis through solidarity and sharing knowledge and experience with its counterparts on the common challenges the labour movement faces.