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Mass Dismissals are Coming

17 June 2010 / 12:06:41  GRReporter
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The reform of the Ministry of Employment and Social Security is causing radical changes in pension and employment. The share of cuts in private companies is increasing with more than 150 jobs from 2% to 5% annually. In particular, the dismissals in enterprises employing between 20-150 employees will reach six persons per month, while in enterprises employing over 150 people the employer will be able to dismiss to 30 workers per month. The period of notice before dismissal will be reduced to four months from the 24 months currently applicable for long-service employees. For workers who have two months to ten years service in the company the warning period is one month. The notification for service of between 10 and 15 years becomes two months. The 20 years of service give the employees the opportunity to know that they will be fired three months before the event and for service of over 20 years the notification period is extended to four months.

If the employer effects dismissals without notice in the statutory time limit he would have to pay compensation to the employee depending on the length of his service. If, however, the employer gives notice of dismissal according to the law, the employee will receive 50 percent less compensation. “This decision is unconstitutional and in violation of the labor rights of Greek employees” said an open letter of the union representatives of employees in the private sector. To express their disagreement the union forces in Greece said they would do everything in their power to prevent the application of the new social reform.

A bill provides that the new generation of workers who are younger than the age of 21 will receive 80% of the determined salary today (€ 740) and young workers aged 21 to 25 years will receive 85% of the minimum wage.

The new terms and conditions for retirement, which also cast fear in the Greek trade unions and the public, have to come into force in 2011. The full pension will be paid after the age of 65 or after 40 full years of service (which includes the years of military service, higher education and motherhood), during which service social securities were properly paid. If the pensioner is not 65 years of age and has not 40 years of service the total amount of the pension will be reduced by 6% for each missing year. The minimum retirement age for professions of heavy and unhealthy work becomes 60 years, unlike the previous 55.

The mass discontent with the new changes was expressed in the Greek newspapers that came out in the kiosks with shocking titles: Avgi came under the heading “Massacre of 6.5 million employees”, Vima newspaper – “Unemployed and with cut compensations”, Ethnicity – “Tsunami for pensions and salaries”. The two biggest Greek unions prepare a series of protests and strike actions, which they expect to frustrate the full implementation of the barbarian (in their words) reforms.

The final form of the law will be discussed until the end of the week in a bilateral meeting between the Prime Minister Andreas Loverdos and representatives of the mission of the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the European Central Bank or the so-called triple. Although negotiations are not completed yet the Ministry of Employment announced some major changes in the new draft.

Tags: EconomyMarketsSociety
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