From June 7th, the restaurant barthelonika in the centre of Thessaloniki is working in a self-organised manner, run by its workers.
From June 7th, the restaurant barthelonika in the centre of Thessaloniki is working in a self-organised manner, run by its workers. It all began when the owner of the restaurant announced to the workers that the restaurant will close for three months during summer and that he will decide its fate in September. The workers, from their part, claim the business is making profit and there is no reason for it to suspend its operation.
And so, they made an informal agreement according to which the workers themselves will take on the running of the restaurant for two months, in order for them not to become unemployed.
Now, as they tell us, the restaurant barthelonika is “working normally without bosses, managers and hierarchical relationships. We all decide together about everything, we find suppliers and look after the place. In this climate of crisis, if we accept the decisions of the bosses without reaction we will be lead straight to abjection”, they stress out.
Immediately after taking on the management of the restaurant, the workers applied a 30% reduction on all dishes and have invited the society of Thessaloniki to support this self-organised project. On Sunday the kitchen of barthelonika is transferred to the Anti-racist Festival, where the workers decided to attend and cook for its visitors.
translation of an article that was published in the greek newspaper “the street” (O Dromos)
What follows is a translation of a text issued by the workers themselves (greek original here) explaining their action and calling for solidarity.
AGAINST THE CLOSURE OF THE RESTAURANT BARTHELONIKA
LETS SUPPORT THE SELF-MANAGEMENT OF THE RESTAURANT BY ITS WORKERS
Since Monday the 7th of June us, the workers at the restaurant Barthelonika run the restaurant ourselves and for this reason, ask for the help and the support of all the workers of Thessaloniki.
Two weeks ago the owners of the restaurant announced us that the establishment was not going well and that it would close down for the three summer months – and further, that it was uncertain wether it would reopen in September and how many of us would work – and under what working conditions. They also announced us that all the workers at the restaurant would be fired immediately while firing compensations would only start to be paid out in October… that is, of course, if they had any money to pay the compensations out.
As workers in the food industry we know well that a firing in today’s circumstances of deep economic crisis and tough anti-workerist attacks would mean our throwing out in the cold. For this reason we decided as workers at the restaurant not to bow our heads and to take matters in our own hands. We demanded and achieved from the management of the restaurant to pay some expenses for the establishment and our own insurance – and we now have taken on the management of the restaurant for the following two months (June and July) while in August we have achieved to have our holiday as normal.
As workers at the Barthelonika restaurant we are determined not to allow the restaurant where we work to close but also, not to allow any restaurant to close and no co-worker to bef ired. For this reason we stand in solidarity with the just struggle of our co-workers at the Banquet restaurant.
The restaurant Barthelonika will be under our control, through our general assembly. Decisions concerning its running will be taken by majority and will be respected by all us co-workers. Whatever remains from profit after expenses will be distributed equally among all co-workers. All of us co-workers will work the same hours, at the same positions where we were before.
We have also decided to offer a 30% reduction to all customers of the restaurant.
We call for all workers, the youth and the people of Thessaloniki to actively support our effort to run the restaurant, in order to save our jobs and not to be thrown out to unemployment and misery.
The restaurant Barthelonika is in the centre of our city, at 3 Venizelou Str in the Rogoti Arcade, 1st floor, tel. 2310 225 242
Opening hours: 11 am to 1 am. Closed on Sundays.
THE WORKERS OF THE RESTAURANT BARTHELONIKA