Athens, July 13, 2016/ Independent Balkan News Agency
By Spiros Sideris
A common front on labor issues was formed by social partners who overcame their differences to fight the tough demands of Greece’s creditors. At least this was apparent in their meeting with Labor Minister Giorgos Katrougalos ahead of talks on labor issues in September as part of the second review.
The social partners have substantially updated the Geneva Agreement and in the coming days there will be a common text of the partners, “which will seek political support by political parties” as the Minister stated, reiterating that “we want the reinstatement of collective bargaining”.
The minister stressed that “at stake in the labor negotiations is Greece’s return to social Europe”. He categorically assured that “there is no question of further reducing workers’ rights, or lowering wages further”.
“In the Greece of crisis and recession” the GSEE president said on his part, “there cannot be liberalization of mass layoffs, lockout cannot exist, it is inconceivable that collective action is not supported and there is no clear framework for for negotiations and national collective agreements”.
The meeting was attended by representatives of employers’ organizations which sign the National Collective Labour Agreement (SEV, GSEBEE, ESEE and SETE) and GSEE. The prior actions demanded as part of the upcoming second review as well as MoU changes in labor relations were discussed.