Social Cooperatives: Greece’s new scheme to get rid of municipality workers; 48h strike, Feb 13-14/2013

Posted by in Politics

POE-OTA, union of workers at Greek municipalities called for a 48-hour strike on February 13-14, 2013. The strike decision comes as expression of solidarity to workers at social services offered by local governments.

POE-OTA demands that municipalities continue to offer social services, that workers received outstanding payments and opposes government and local governments plans to cancel these social services and proceed to the establishment of so-called “social cooperatives”.

A protest rally is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, Feb 13th, at 10 a.m., Kalfthmonos square, downtown Athens.

According to POE-OTA, the social cooperatives  is the new ‘fruit” of austerity agreements between Greece and its lenders.

Social cooperatives: Municipalities will cancel the social services (“Help at Home”, municipality kindergartens, music schools). The main principle is that these services will be offered and managed by social cooperatives, that is by ‘cooperatives’ established in the context of ‘social business scheme’, according to which jobless (ex) municipality workers will be the shareholders.

Funding: start capital to be given by the municipality. Private funding by ‘rich residents’ possible.

Earnings: Cooperative shareholders get paid only if they are also workers at the cooperative.

Earnings distribution:

5% goes to funding reserve.

35% goes to workers.

60% goes to cooperative activities and the creation of new work places. (aftodioikisi.gr)

To make the long and strange new social business scheme short, municipalities will not longer provide social services to its residents. As sectors will be scrapped and workers will be laid-off, the former  and now jobless employees will have to establish businesses and get paid a minimum of a piece of bread and a slice of cheese.

PS “social cooperatives”? It sounds to me like privatizing the Sowjet unions… I would never thought that the capitalistic Troika would use features of Communism…