By S. Papapetros
The biggest trade union body (GSEE) in Greece is again faced with the prospect of canceling its 37th general assembly, after unprecedented clashes at a Rhodes resort hotel in the early morning hours of Thursday, pitting members of a Communist Party (KKE)-affiliated union grouping (PAME) with GSEE delegates and security hired by the former.
The violence at the Rodos Palace hotel left four people injured, with either side blaming the other for the violence.
The leadership of the General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE) charged what it called a "raid" by up to 200 members of PAME arriving on the large Dodecanese island for the expressed purpose of preventing the general assembly from taking place.
PAME officials, conversely, charged that the trade union umbrella group hired "thugs" and "strongmen" to keep out its delegates and the press, pointing in fact, to a GSEE faction affiliated with the main opposition New Democracy (ND) party. PAME and its sponsor, the Communist Party of Greece, have angrily charged that GSEE is being transformed from a "workers' union" into one controlled by employers.
A previous general assembly in Kalamata last month was also disrupted by PAME cadres and ultimately cancelled.