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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-07-15

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM hails signing of collective labour agreement

  • [01] PM hails signing of collective labour agreement

    Prime Minister George Papandreou, commenting Thursday on the signing of the new three-year Collective Labour Agreement, said "we hail the agreement achieved between the social partners. It is an important event, particularly in this period that the country, we Greeks, are being called on to face an unprecedented crisis."

    The prime minister added that "in these difficult hours, the aim of all must be the exit from the crisis with confidence for all the Greek citizens and particularly for all those who have been harmed more by the crisis. As well as the shaping of necessary terms and preconditions for us to be led to a viable growth that will give us the possibility to build a State, a society, with social justice and dignity."

    Papandreou concluded by saying "every initiative contributing to this direction and shaping conditions of social understanding, can only give us satisfaction. Our hope is for us to achieve the building of a wider social agreement as well, that will signal the determination of all for us to defend social cohesion and create a better future for us and our children. We are working for this."

    Unions representing salary earners in the private sector and employers' federations on Thursday signed a three-year national collective labour agreement envisaging a freeze in wages this year and pay rises equalling the average Eurozone inflation rate in July 1, 2011 and July 1, 2012 -- estimated at 1.5 pct and 1.7 pct, respectively.

    The agreement also guarantees - to a certain extent - continuation of the so-called "13th and 14th" monthly salaries in the private sector by, terming them as regular payments. The agreement also underlines the will of social partners to promote measures, such as extending the unemployment subsidy period for long-term unemployed people and to create a solidarity account for long-term unemployed and low-income earners.

    Speaking to reporters after the signing of the agreement, Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV) President Dimitris Daskalopoulos said the agreement highlights the will of the private sector to protect workers‚ income and to promote measures.

    GSEE - Greece‚s largest trade union umbrella - president Yiannis Panagopoulos said the signing of the agreement was an act of responsibility and noted that GSEE achieved the largest possible gains in ensuring the 13th and 14th monthly salaries continue. He said the memorandum signed between Greece and the Commission-ECT-IMF "troika" acted as a "lever of pressure", while he underlined that the signing of the agreement kept alive the institution of collective bargaining, offering "a light at the end of the tunnel for the Greek economy."

    Greek inflation rate was above 5.0 pct in May and June, while a pay freeze this year and pay rises at the Eurozone‚s average inflation rate in 2011 and 2012 will lead to a further reduction of wage-earners' purchasing power.

    According to early calculations, minimum wages will be set at 750 euros as of July 1, 2011 and 763 euros from July 1, 2012.

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