Around 9.00 in the morning today, a group of DEI (electricity provider) employees managed to come inside the premises of Viome and interrupt power supply, with the intent to cut off the wires that bring electricity to the entire industrial facility, which consists of the Viome factory and the the now empty buildings that used to house Viome’s ex-parent company, Filkeram.
Immediately, the workers of Viome peacefully but firmly confronted the electric company employees and demanded that the power be restored. At the same time, the solidarity network was sent an emergency signal, and a couple of dozen solidarity supporters came to the factory soon after.
Two police motorcycles approached the area, but did not intervene.
Under the pressure of workers and solidarity members of Viome, the power was restored and the DEI crew left the premises peacefully. It was a tense moment that tested the reflexes of the solidarity network and its capacity to respond to emergencies.
It should be noted that the workers of Viome do not recognise the ex-owners’ debts to the electric company, as most debts of Viome are fraudulent: knowing that they could be protected by bankruptcy laws, the ex-owners took out loans, transferred funds from Viome to other companies of the business group and stopped paying wages, bills and providers long before the factory shut down. This was effectively an illegitimate appropriation of funds at the expense of the workers and the utility companies.
This is the reason why the workers of Viome have a long-standing demand of starting with a clean slate and having their own power supply in the name of the workers’ cooperative. However, for political reasons, the electric company ignores their demands and keeps trying to hold them accountable for the ex-owners’ debts.
In any case, the workers and solidarity network of Viome consider any attempts to cut off utilities as repression, as this is not a “routine” operation but the outcome of a direct order from the authorities to disrupt the activity of Viome. For this reason they are determined to step up their efforts to have a just and viable solution in the water and energy supply for Viome, as well as in the legalisation of its activity.
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