The IMAS factory, located in Volos, Greece, is owned by the German multination Continental / Contitech and produces conveyor belts and belt monitoring systems for mines (seehttp://www.contitech.de/pages/branchen/bergbau/bergbau_en.html).
Continental’s main field is vehicle tires but its activity covers dozens of industrial products, mainly for the car/vehicle industry.
Continental is a profitable German multinational with 3.4 billion euros profit for 2014. It employs more than 190,000 workers all over the world and has recently fussed with Goodyear another big tire producing multinational company.
Despite massive profits Continental /Contitech, through its subsidiary, IMAS, has sacked Greek workers and imposes conditions of impoverishment on those remaining. This has been the consistent policy of the management of IMAS over the past years.
A few days ago the factory management announced four layoffs and more to come in the next days. Only a few years ago, around 300 workers were employed in the factory, a few months ago the number was down to 200 and now it is not more than about 120.
The layoffs came after the workers unanimously rejected the bosses’ demands plans to further reduce workers’ salaries and benefits by an additional two million euros a year, to reduce the working days by 42 a year and to enable management to employ younger workers on personal contracts with salaries around the basic wage of about 500 euros a month.
These are the reasons why IMAS workers decided strike action for this week. On Monday, 2 February, the union arranged a meeting with the company in the presence of the Minister of Labour, G. Katrougalos.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, workers will have three hour strikes on every shift and then they will escalate action, with two 24 hour strikes on Thursday and Friday. On Friday, the general assembly of all the workers at IMAS will decide the way forward for the struggle.
The workers at IMAS need solidarity action in order to win. We call on all the unions and unionist activists, especially in the chemical sector, and the Continental / Contitech plants around the world, to express their solidity by sending protest letters to the management of Continental and IMAS.
Continental will also be under pressure if solidarity protest are held outside plants or at big Continental Tyre Stores. The locations of Continental / Contitech factories in Europe can be found by searching ’locations here: http://www.continental-corporation.com/www/portal_com_en/
Below e-mail addresses, phones and fax numbers for Continental and IMAS managers, followed by a model protest letter.
Please send protests to:
Continental Aktiengesellschaft Headquarters, Vahrenwalder Straße 9, D-30165 Hanover
Phone: +49 511 938-01
Hannes Boekhoff, Vice President, Media Relations, Continental AG, Vahrenwalder Strasse 9,
ContiTech ΙΜΑΣ Α.Ε., Industrial Area GR-38500 Volos. Phone +30 (0)24210 - 96-500. Fax. +30 (0)24210 - 96-590
General Manager, Savas Papoutsoglou, Phone +30 (0)24210 - 96-500
email contact: http://www.imas-conveyors.com/footer/contact_form_el.html?idform=399&topic=General%20Manager
Model Protest Letter
No to layoffs at Continental/Contitech IMAS factory!
We have been informed of the layoffs announced a few days ago by the Continental / Contitech IMAS factory management in Volos, Greece.
We have also been informed of the pressure that the management of IMAS is putting upon workers to accept severe salary slashes, decrease the number of work days by 42 a year and much less wages for any new workers that will be employed. All of these to be included in the new three year Collective Agreement between the factory union and Contitech IMAS.
Continental / Contitech are a huge multination company, making big profits, rising each year, as your official statistics show. Workers at Contitech/IMAS produced huge profits for the company in the course of the last 40 years, when IMAS sold to the Public Electricity Company of Greece (DEI) and to the mining industry abroad, mainly in Australia.
Moreover, just recently, Continental fused with Goodyear, strengthening its position in the global market and enhancing its profits even more.
We strongly protest against the recent layoffs and the attacks against the workers at the IMAS factory. These sackings are driving workers into poverty and unemployment in a period that the unemployment rate in Greece is beyond all historical proportions.
We support the strike action that the workers have decided and we will inform our unions and local communities about the cynical policies of Continental / Contitech.
- All the layoffs should be rescinded
- A new three year collective agreement, with decent salaries