The demands of the Troika to Greece for further labour market reforms are totally unacceptable
(Brussels 6 September - Press Release) The European Federation of Public Service Unions has come to know a leaked document prepared by the Troika imposing and overseeing the implementation of austerity policies in Greece and composed of representatives of the European Commission, the ECB and the IMF demanding further labour market reforms from the Greek government. This is totally unacceptable.
The proposals include the dismantling of the labour inspectorate as well as increasing the flexibility of working time. The leaked proposals, not intended for public discussion, seek to extend the working week to 6 days a week. They follow on from earlier reforms that destroyed collective bargaining and substantially lowered minimum wages. The proposals sweep away the democratic process and the negotiations between the trade unions and employers.
“These proposals are a further diktat to Greece and an unacceptable interference in the labour market, says Jan Willem Goudriaan, EPSU Deputy General Secretary. “We need a different vision for Greece and other countries with an end to austerity and a focus on investment in sustainable jobs, not the Troika way of laying waste to an economy”.
“From whom do the Troika and including the Commission and ECB representatives get the mandate to propose such suggestions ? We expect the European Commission President and the European Commissioner for Social Affairs to distance themselves from the Troika suggestions. Not doing so will send the signal to Europe’s workers that the Commission is O.K. with destroying protection for workers. Europe’s workers do not need a third term of a Commission President that allows this to happen”, Jan Willem Goudriaan adds, referring to the proposal of Commissioner Reding to give the Commission President a third-term.
Imposing further austerity and destroying collective bargaining do not help solve the recession of Greece. Extending working time and lowering wages will not create demand. They do not lead to more investment. Employers will not create jobs. The austerity measures imposed on Greece have deepened public debt, led to record levels of unemployment with close to 50% of young people being without a job, and increased poverty. The Troika and Council’s plans have a sad and proved record of not working and making matters worse.
For information contact: Pablo Sanchez, psanchez epsu.org 0032 474 62 66 33