Employers and Employee Unions Agree in Principle on New Labor Laws in Greece



gsee-864x400_cRepresentatives of employer associations and employee unions reached a minimum level of agreement on Tuesday on the upcoming changes on labor laws.

The two sides negotiated in the presence of Labor Minister Giorgos Katrougalos. They chose to put disagreements and objections aside so that the Greek government has a negotiating tool at hand at the time of negotiations with creditors.

Despite the overall agreement, thorny issues such as mass layoffs, extension of collective labor contracts and the strengthening of sector contracts over corporate ones, were not deliberated in detail.

The joint declaration of associations and unions was limited to the ratification of meetings held under the auspices of the International Labor Organization (ILO) and a verbal agreement that minimum wage will not be reduced and the Christmas, Easter and summer holiday bonuses will remain intact.

In the declaration it is also stressed that the minimum wage should be agreed by the social partners (employers and employees) in the context of the National General Collective Labor Contract and that union laws need to be modernized, though without challenging the workers’ right to strike.