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Unions respond with strikes to 2011 budget

19 November 2010 / 12:11:15  GRReporter
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Officials in the region of Attica will stop work for three hours between 12 o’clock at noon and 3:00 pm on November 25 and will gather on Klavtmonos square. This is the decision of the unions of private and public servants to express their protest against the budget. "We, GSEE and ADEDY, met together to see how to respond to the introduction of the 2011 budget," said GSEE President Yiannis Panagopoulos.

Earlier in the day he, the President of the union of private employees, and the Chief Secretary Vangelis Bouzoulas met with the Troika’s experts to hand them the note of the union’s position. Although the majority of the union’s presidency disagreed with the meeting, they both took the initiative to go.

Panagopoulos said that "GSEE positions are stated in the note and are not subject to negotiation. They are related to the framework of collective agreements, because as you know, if the provided in the memorandum is implemented it will turn the labour market into a jungle and even the most basic employment rights will be subject to doubt and we will accept this in no way. What we stated to the representatives of the Troika during our brief meeting was that business contracts did not prevail to collective agreements in the initial Memornadum and clashes and tensions will be much more unpredictable, if they occurr."

"Our fears confirmed that the budget will attempt to achieve an unprecedented thrift that will affect all employees without exception – in public sector, private sector and state enterprises. We will organize a campaign in Greece for a general strike on December 15 and will not stop because the problems will be exacerbated in 2011. Our request is to protect jobs, to return the 13th and 14th pensions mainly for those retirees with low pensions, to support employees with low wages and to protect collective labour agreements, which according to the Memorandum will be cut in the private spheres of the economy too," said the chairman of the union of private employees.

The chairman of the union of civil servants Spiros Papaspiros made a comparison that officials in Greece are running in a "marathon the final point of which is being constantly changed." In connection with the budget Papaspiros said that there are particular concerns that layoffs in the public and private sectors will increase as the figures show that the first victims will be at least 20 000 employees on temporary contracts, and reductions in salaries and pensions have not ended yet. He confirmed that family allowances will not be affected as they are protected by a decision of the Supreme Special Court since 2002.

"Campaign government promises that there will be no measures collapse today. Unfortunately, these are measures to save money from the social activity the state is to provide to citizens. According to the budget, 800 million euros should be saved from state enterprises and this will certainly affect employees. That is why we met today to come out in the streets with happenings and other forms of protest after December 15," said GSEE General Secretary Vangelis Bouzoulas.

Tags: NewsCollective agreementsDismissalsSalariesPensionsAllowances
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