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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-05-15

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Three employer groups sign General Collective Labour Agreement

  • [01] Three employer groups sign General Collective Labour Agreement

    ANA-MPA/ Three employer groups representing hoteliers, traders and craftsmen on Tuesday signed the National General Collective Labour Agreement (NGCLA) with Greece's main umbrella trade union organisation for the private sector, the General Confederation of Employees of Greece (GSEE).

    A conspicuous absence at the talks was the influential Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV), which represents Greece's industrialists and the country's largest employers. SEV did not sign the new NGCLA but has counter-proposed a "protocol of agreement on basic issues and principles" on the grounds that the new terms imposed by austerity memorandums have greatly restricted the role of the social partners and "made the signature of an NGCLA a parody".

    The employer associations signing the new NGCLA, which is valid for the next six months until December 31, 2013, include the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE), the Hellenic Confederation of Professionals, Craftsmen & Merchants (GSEVEE) and the National Confederation of Hellenic Commerce (ESEE).

    The agreement's effect has been backdated to the start of 2013, in order to cover the period that the residual duration of the previous agreement was still in force, while it allows the signatories to extend its duration for another year without new round of negotiations if they wish.

    The final agreement does not address wage-related issues, given that the minimum wage is now set by law, but the parties agreed to preserve the 10-percent marriage bonus and other features of the previous CLAs.

    Despite SEV's refusal to sign the new agreement, members of the association decided to continue paying the marriage bonus in a resolution passed by SEV's annual general assembly on Monday, waiving their right to unilaterally cut the extra pay under new labour laws.

    Other employer organisations were highly critical of SEV's stance and said it had lost its leading role in this way. GSEVEE President Panagiotis Theodoropoulos called for a maximum limit to wage reductions, asserting that up to 80 percent of private-sector employees would see their wages slashed to 586 euros a month without the agreement signed on Tuesday, reinforcing the economy's downward spiral.

    SETE General Secretary Giorgos Vernikos said that the market did not need any further reduction in unit labour costs but structural reforms that required cooperation from the social partners.

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