European Trade Union Institute, ETUI.

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28 April 2017

Greece: a new general collective labour agreement for 2017

On 30 March the social partners at national level signed a new National General Collective Labour Agreement in a context dominated by the negotiations with the international creditors (the European Union and the International Monetary Fund). It entered into force retroactively from 1 January 2017 for a period of one year.

Although the creditors asked for certain benefits to be reduced, the social partners unanimously decided to maintain the rights enshrined in the previous national general collective agreements, notably the bonuses for marriage, children, hazardous work and study, which are granted to employees earning the minimum wage. However, for the most part, the negotiations were concluded under pressure from the creditors, which prevented the main trade union confederation, the GSEE, from securing an increase in the minimum wage from EUR 683 to EUR 751, i.e. back to the level it had been at before the crisis, as promised by the government (see GSEE press release). However, as soon as the government decides, as agreed, to allow the social partners to set the minimum wage, they will begin negotiations immediately. They also intend to launch negotiations on discrimination and the fight against illegal work and racism. The unions are unhappy with this forced agreement, which suggests that there may be problems in the months ahead.

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