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Until Sunday the garbage will stay throughout the streets of Athens

20 November 2010 / 17:11:18  GRReporter
5982 reads

Anastasia Balezdrova

Over 350 workers in Greek municipalities held a protest march to the building of the Ministry of Interior, but the meeting between representatives of the union and the Deputy Minister Georgeous Dolios ended unsuccessfully. Today, their colleagues from the municipal cleaning companies announced 48-hour strike, shut the dumping ground of the capital Philly and called Athenians not to overflow bins. On Sunday noon, the union will decide whether to continue the protest.
While unionists met with Deputy Minister, protesters chanted slogans against the government's economic policy and invited the police officers who guarded the entrance to the ministry to join them.
    Among the main demands of municipal workers are the signing of a new collective agreement, a new table for calculating the salaries, promotion of their rights on the lump sum on retirement, secondary pensions and healthcare.
    In a statement for GRReporter the President of the union Themis Balasopoulos said that this was the first reaction of workers to the decisions of the government for new reductions in wages, the imposition of new taxes and the withdrawal of rights relating to pensions, insurance and especially healthcare. "We work in municipalities where since 1.1.2011 will begin the implementation of the program for regional rearrangement "Kalikratis", which will cause serious problems in the work of local authorities and in labor relations. It is expected that thousands of workers will be laid off," said the chairman of the union, adding that in all likelihood the strike will continue next week.
    According to Dimitris Tsihlakis who is a member of the general council of the union of civil servants in Greece "the program "Kalikratis" provides for even greater reductions in the wages, layoffs and general restrictions in the public sector. First victims of these measures will be the municipalities, because the program provides for a deterioration of labor relations and economic situation of the workers. So we start our protests from now, before the start of the program".
Unionists argue that without including taxes, each worker in the public sector loses 2500-3000 euros as compared with last year's income. According to D. Tsihlakis "these are the reductions in the amount of annual bonuses, in the allowances for leave and the 300 euros we lose a month for the implementation of the imposed by the Triple program. If you add to this and increased commodity prices, the taxes and so forth, our salaries compared to last year are hopelessly low".
For the municipal companies under the trade unionists, depending on arrangements with the Troika, are stipulated layoffs of people working with permanent contracts. Risk of redundancies there is also for the municipal legal persons such as music schools and sports organizations. "Although the ministry has not yet announced these measures anyone who read the contents of the "Kalikratis" program will understand that these are the plans", claim the unions.
According to them, all governments in the past increased the forms of "elastic" labor such as working with a reduced working day, labor contracts with 8-month duration, etc., causing the mass recruitment of people with short-term employment contracts who are most likely to remain unemployed. "Currently we have 50,000 employees with a permanent job and unlimited in term contracts. There are no official data on the number of employees with short-term contracts, but shortly before the imposition of the stringent measures in the municipalities were employed 50,000 of them" say trade unionists.
In turn, the ministry announced that the employees will be hired who are enrolled in provisional lists of the Supreme Council for the selection of staff who were not recruited because of the entry into force of the Memorandum for economic aid. The decision affects about 600 employees.

Tags: strike garbage cleaning companies employees Kalikratis society
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