Athens, Greece: Intervention at MIKEL headquarters by Anarchist Collective Rouvikonas

On Thursday the 9th of March a 22 year-old delivery driver named Memo, who was employed at the Kolonos branch of the well-known retail brand ”Mikel”, lost his life. He had been admitted in the hospital on the 2nd of March after an accident at work.

This incident happened just a few months following the death of a young mother after an explosion in the fast food chain where she worked, as well as the death of a hotel maid on Zakynthos and the more recent death of the delivery driver in Speedex.

These particular incidents that surfaced, and many more that are doomed to remain in obscurity, are recorded, codified and treated as workplace accidents on the level of hegemonic narrative and collective memory. Let’s just think: how rightful is it to introduce and appropriate the meaning of accident, of coincidence, when in this gamble between the capital and the workers the a priori rules have been ignored and the outcome of the game is already predetermined?

Local and international elites and every other kind of multinational mechanism, wont leave anything to chance when their financial interests are at stake and their profitability is being threatened. This particular case is no exception, since this is one of the larger cafe chains with  around 140 branches across Greece, while the company’s statistics reveal a 3.4 million euro profit for 2014. It goes without saying that profit does not guarantee the slightest improvement in the working conditions faced by employees. Regarding delivery drivers, such as Memo, the grave danger of road accidents is always there since the vehicles are not looked after properly and the stress caused by strict deadlines on delivering a product only increase this possibility. The bosses’ monstrosity does not only concern this type of work. Complaints filed against this company and numerous employees’ accounts reveal intensive and vindictive lay-offs, unpaid overtime, taking on more responsibility than prescribed by job description and a hyper-intensification of already precarious work relations.

The background, behind the fake smiles of forced manners, behind the quick service and the pleasure offered by having coffee at Mikel, does not differ from analogous capitalist creations of the privileged: an image created by the bosses against the workers, whose class is decimated and end up paying with their blood. Faust and Mephistopheles are the same person.  We, as part of workers from below, chose conscientiously not to remain in apathy, not to get used to death once again. There are these lyrics saying: ”people are ample in words and money-grabbing in blood”. The abundance in the words of upper class syndicalism or the hypocritical condolences of those accountable to the family of the dead won’t suffice. In contrast, we chose to return some of the monstrosity of the bosses against the exploited by damaging the headquarters of this company. At the same time, through our choice, we call for non-hierarchical structures and direct process such as joining grassroots unions and political collectives, so that workers can fight back against the frontal assault they are exposed to.

There is a time to plant, and a time to harvest



Anarchist Group Rouvikonas

(via Alfa Vita, translated by Black Cat)

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