Greek Labour Ministry Abolish “Extra Pension” for Trade Unionists

Posted by in Economy

Huh?!? I did not know that trade unionists were receiving an additional pension, “the Unionists’ pension”. But that was the case according to a law of 1937! Presidents and general secretaries of primary and secondary trade unions as well as members of the administration of GSEE (umbrella for private sector unions) have been receiving 700 euro per month. After the austerity cuts of the last two years, these pensions were down to 370 euro, according to state broadcaster NET TV.

The additional pension was granted to some 250 unionists who had completed 12 years in trade union service until 1999. Then this provision was abolished.

“The decision of 1937 had the aim to financially help unionists of that time as they were not receiving any compensation for the union service and in addition many of them were fired exactly due to their unionists’ activities.”(NET TV)

The pensions were granted through the country’s biggest insurance fund IKA via the auxiliary pensions fund and were calculated according to a percentage of insurance contributions to Social Security.

Now, Greek Labour and Social Insurance Ministry decided to put an end to these pensions in the context of “rationalization of social security system”, “decrease of expenditure” and in order to create “justice, equality and reliability of the trade unions movement”.

Some 250 unionists will miss an additional income of 370 euro per month as of 1. November 2012.

This is what KTG wrote yesterday. This morning daily Ethnos.gr has more details on the issue. Citing sources from the Labour Ministry, Ethnos writes:

“More than 1,000 unionists were receiving pensions between 200-600 euro per month some even 1,000 euro. And thus for several decades.

The total cost for the insurance fund was 3 million euro per year.

It should be noted that this special “additional pension fund” that had come under IKA has been giving extra pensions to some 4,000 people. Not only the unionists but also to employees at trade unions, workers’ centres. Total annual cost 11.5 million euro

“This practice was unprecedented in the global social security system.”

PS I guess, some unionists were more clever than other unionists and the employees they were represented, and thus for many happy unionist years.