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Northern Greece: 6:10 companies do not pay their employees up to 3-16 months

The news coming from Northern Greece in fact reflects the situation in the labor market all across the country: severe delays in payments to employees, work without insurance. Six out of ten companies delay to pay their employees from three up to sixteen months.

This gloomy reality was described by the presidents of labor centers of Northern Greece during a meeting ahead the International Fair of Thessaloniki.

“Black and uninsured labor is the king, while the unemployment rates skyrocket,” they said.

Six out of 10 companies have to pay their employees from 3 to 16 months

Indicative in Thessaloniki unemployment has reached 36%, while in the Evros area near the borders to Turkey it has reached 40%.

In Yiannitsa, the market is practically ‘dead’ as the Greeks cross the border and go to Bulgaria for shopping. Unemployment rate is 56%.

In Drama unemployment is at 50%, in Komotini at 46% and in Serres 42%.

From 100 factories operating back in the year 2000, only 4 are still in operation in 2013.  From 17,000 factory employees back then, only 800 still have a job, while the majority of them does not receive their salary in time.

“Jobless Greeks seek work in Bulgaria because the salaries are better,” the presidents claimed.

With the years the economy in Northern Greece plundered when nearby Bulgaria became competitive for investors. Many factory and business owners moved to Bulgaria due to low salaries and corporate taxes.

During the last three years, the “rescue” and austerity packages that overtax every single euro circulating in the Greek market and double- and triple-tax not profit bringing properties and assets have pushed to Bulgaria even the last employers of the area.

It is an utmost immoral practice from the side of employers not to pay their employees. The motive is not always the shortage of liquidity. It is a common practice I have been hearing about for the last two years. That employers invoke the economic crisis to avoid paying their employees.

Here in Athens I get more and more -especially young – people telling me that they’re are hired on trial for a month for full time. After that they get fired and do not receive a cent.

They are shops in our area that continuously work with this practice.

Modern slaves in a morally declined society.

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7 comments

  1. What a shame. I spent a wonderful weekend in Yannitsa in 1985 with a friend who was stationed at our US Army base there. I remember it beign such a friendly, tranquil village and most of the US military people stationed there told me how great it was. Imagine, some 27 years later, to hear the stats on unemployment and degredation. Very sad indeed.

  2. oh, somebody who was there! i was never in Yiannitsa…

  3. Here in Athens I get more and more -especially young – people telling me that they’re are hired on trial for a month for full time. After that they get fired and do not receive a cent.

    So, those guys are running to the police to file a complaint of theft. Then the unions step in and sue the employer and alarm the labour inspectorate who immediately step in and arrests the owner. Consumer groups are starting a boycott of the products and… Oh, sorry… this is not the Greek way… Nothing ever changes, everybody complains and goes on with what they always did.
    I read today that the budget for 2012-2013 for the archaeological service in southern Greece just recently has been approved. All those people were working without pay for all those months it seems. Just before the crisis broke, we had the strike of temporary staff of the Acropolis who demanded to get paid and a permanent job, as they were not paid for 2 years by the ministry…
    Can anyone outside Greece imagine that?! In normal times this was common practise and accepted by the unions… imagine what it will be now…

  4. i think these cases of unpaid civil servants refer more to not paid overdue hours and thinks like that. of course it was accepted by the unions because they were doing = and still do – lobbying work: either you do this (mostly it was ‘hiring’ & turn temporary contracts to permanent or we go on strike etc.)

    what chances has the individual employee aged 18-26 to fight for his rights? NONE! he can complain to labor inspectors, go to next job and get confronted with the same reality. and possibly soon find no one who can hire him. they’re young people in real need for money to support unemployed parents. You think they can change the system and risk to not get even a 400-euro per month/10-hour per day job?

  5. It’s way too hot here to try and find the cases in my archive as it was almost 30 degrees here… and no, I’m still not back in Greece 😉
    But it’s surely not by accident that you don’t mention the Unions as where these kids could and should get help. Because we all know they won’t get it. One of the structural changes that were never mentioned in any MoU is the total restructuring of those completely useless unions in Greece. They will organise another 2-days strike next week or so and then go back to their big houses and full laden tables and laugh and drink while joking about how they keep on scr****g the Greek labourers. Great!

  6. oh, these full laden tables remind me of the unionists in Luxembourg. It was there that I learned that being a unionist is a profession and less a volunteer engagement for a cause.