Unions point to 'troika' demand for abolition of collective labour agreements

The contents of a letter reportedly sent by the EC-ECB-IMF "troika" to the labour ministry on Oct. 2 by email, before a meeting of its representatives with Labour Minister Giorgos Koutroumanis, were unveiled during a joint press conference on Monday by GSEE and ADEDY, the two largest umbrella trade unions in the country.
According to the letter, the "troika" wants the abolition of the national collective labour agreement and the reduction or “freezing” of the minimum wage until economic growth begins, underlining that “other countries with similar circumstances have lowered the minimum wage to improve employment prospects.”
The letter points out that this change will help in the absorption of employees who will have to leave the public sector.
It also included recommendations which were adopted in part or in their entirety in the draft law sponsored by the ministry of finance.
As regards the labour contracts in individual sectors of the economy, the troika reportedly wants them to be frozen for three years, whereas the draft law provides for a two-year freezing.
A troika proposal for labour contracts signed by individual enterprises is included intact in the draft law. According to the new regulation, negotiations and agreements from now on can take place with unions made up of less than 20 people if 2/3 of the employees participate and not only with trade unions.
The troika also suggested to the government to enter a dialogue with social partners to ensure fair distribution of the crisis burden and of future gains when economic recovery is achieved.


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