Home » today » Business » EKA: Claims for wage increases and Collective Labor Agreements – 2024-02-23 23:49:23

EKA: Claims for wage increases and Collective Labor Agreements – 2024-02-23 23:49:23

The issue of punctuality, but also the need to increase wages, were put at the center of the event organized by the Athens Employment Center (EKA)in which representatives of organizations and parties spoke.

As the president of EKA, Kostas Koulouris, said, the event, which took place, arose out of the need of society, workers and consumers, to be informed in a valid, scientific way and without exaggerations and embellishments, about accuracy and profiteering , “which reduce the family income of the average Greek woman and the average Greek to zero”.

In this context, Mr. Koulouris emphasized that the unions are fighting with every means at their disposal, without selfishness and interests, in order to create a relief to the consequences of this gloomy situation.

According to Mr. Koulouris, the Labor Center of Athens has put at the center of its action and claims for the next period the wage increasestaking effective measures to address accuracy, crack down on profiteering and restore Collective Labor Agreements.

“For this reason, we have declared a 24-hour general strike on Wednesday, February 28, 2024” noted Mr. Koulouris, pointing out that the actions of the Athens Labor Center are part of the broader framework of demands of the General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE), which declared a general strike on April 17, 2024.

“The unions are denouncing the situation that has been created, with the basic slogan “accuracy to God – wages in the tartars – we want real increases – we want our collective agreements back and we want them now”” said Mr. Koulouris.

At the same time, he underlined that the situation has actually gotten out of hand, devalues ​​the income of workers and leads to extreme situations of poverty for low-paid wage earners, the unemployed, pensioners, single-parent families and, in general, the most vulnerable.

Finally, Mr. Koulouris listed the main ones claimswhich are as follows:

“- The crackdown on speculation in all businesses in the main sectors of production and trading of basic food goods and extraordinary taxation on the profits of supermarket chains and energy, transport and banking businesses.

– The substantial strengthening of the Competition Commission and the control mechanisms of the Ministry of Development and the Regions for the quick, direct and effective control of practices of profiteering.

– The reduction of VAT for one year on basic food items and price increase on basic household goods, such as baby milk, pasteurized milk, cereals, cheese, cold meats, chicken, pork, pasta, legumes, vegetables, baby diapers, personal hygiene products and detergents.

– Raising wages above the minimum wage to protect the purchasing power of low- and middle-income households.

– The return of the holiday gift and leave allowance to the pre-memorandum levels for the public and the wider public sector.

– The calculation of the period 2012-2023 for the salary increase of private sector employees, due to the three years.

– The immediate restoration of the determination of the minimum wage by employees and employers and the restoration of all priorities of collective labor law.

– Intensive checks to protect workers from work accidents”.

Speaking at the event, the head of Labor and Social Security SYRIZA-Progressive AllianceGeorge Gavrilos, commented that the accuracy and “greed inflation” were created by the government’s choices.

Mr. Gavrilos stated that it is imperative to change the policies being practiced and emphasized the implementation of social investments.

According to Mr. Gavrilos, the games of the next period must focus on the implementation and expansion of the Collective Labor Agreements.

Concluding his statement, Mr. Gavrilos underlined that SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance will support the strike movements, but also the effort made by GSEE and the Labor Centers, in order to highlight the issues of punctuality and low wages, as well as the need to reinstate the Collective Labor Agreements.

The Member of Parliament and head of Labor PASOK-KINALGeorgios Mulkiotis, pointed out that, even though the vicious cycle of punctuality has been going on for three years, the measures that have been taken by the government have not even succeeded in mitigating it and this is proven by the data.

“So far, the government hasn’t put up a real fight against punctuality. Our country systematically figures in the first places in the Eurozone in terms of the level of inflation, while one in three Greeks is paid an amount below 800 euros” added Mr. Mulkiotis, who formulated specific proposals, which include the reinstatement of the definition of the minimum wage by the social partners, as well as the reinstatement of the National General Collective Labor Agreement, the strengthening of sectoral collective agreements, the reduction of VAT on basic goods and the implementation of effective market controls.

Hellenic Solution Member of Parliament, Stylianos Fotopoulos, described as a myth what is said that “there are no workers for businesses”. As he said, “workers exist. The point is to offer satisfactory salaries and decent working conditions”.

Speaking on behalf of the New Left was Andreas Nefeloudis, former Secretary General of the Ministry of Labour, who spoke against flexible and flexible labor relations and in favor of wage labor.

According to Mr. Nefeloudis, an action plan must be drawn up for the formulation of a new vision, with an increase in wages, reinstatement of Collective Labor Agreements and a reduction in working hours, without a reduction in wages.

As he underlined, it is necessary to calculate the period 2012-2023 for the salary increase, due to the three years.

Mr. Nefeloudis also brought up the issues of health and safety at work, as well as the issue of housing assistance for workers and the unemployed.

In closing, Mr. Nefeloudis emphasized that a condition for the observance of legality in the labor market is the strengthened presence of the Labor Inspection Body.

The greeting of the president of Plefsis Eleftheria, Zois Konstantopoulou, was conveyed by Maria Zacharia, who declared solidarity with the strike struggles.

In addition, during her placement, she referred to some initiatives of Freedom of Navigation, such as the submission of legislative proposals to restore the 13th and 14th salary for civil servants and the wider public sector, to prevent workplace mobbing and on gender equality at work. At the same time, a question about occupational accidents has also been submitted.

The Secretary General of EKA, Giorgos Kakariaris, the mayor of Nea Ionia, Panagiotis Manouris, the president of the Working Consumers Union of Greece, Apostolos Raitopoulos and the General Director of the GSEE Labor Institute (INE/GSEE), Christos Goulas, also spoke at the event. who repeated the proposal for the minimum wage in 2024, which is its increase to 908 euros per month.

As he explained, in 2023, the gross median full-time salary is estimated at 1,443 euros per month, with 60% of the median salary, which is the relative poverty line, amounting to 866 euros. In addition, taking into account the increase in labor productivity in 2023 and the estimated inflation for 2024, the minimum wage should rise to 908 euros, in order to effectively protect minimum wage earners from punctuality, to break free from the trap of relative poverty and not to change their position in the income distribution.

The event was coordinated by the head of the Department of Environment and International Relations of the Athens Employment Center, Dr. Christina Theohari.

Source: RES-MPE

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