One out of three Greece’s labor craft await 3 to 15 months for their salaries. This is one of the main slogans of the campaign for the rights of workers launched by opposition party To Potami.
In a statement, the centrist party notes that “more than 1.2million people go daily to their work but they don’t get paid. Neither do they have means to oppose this practice, the statement adds realizing that these people “hardly react.”
The party calls on workers to submit their story of non-paid work.
Furthermore, it says it drafts proposals to combat the phenomenon of unpaid work and calls on Greeks to submit their stories as well as their proposals.
Party leader and former TV journalist and presenter Stavros Theodorakis told Star TV that “in many companies, in the media, the restaurant/catering, energy and in other sectors, people work but do not get paid for months. This practice has become a status quo, because people have no alternatives.”
Had Theodorakis investigated the issue, he would have found out that this practice started already in 2011, in the first year of the first bailout and austerity program. Right in summer 2011, employers started to give to employees part of their salary, some 200 euro “in advance” -so to say- of a 800-900 euro net per month. I have written several reports about this practice. Some have never received their full salary, some companies closed down, some expats I knew left Greece unable to make ends meet with a bag of 200 peanuts.
Had the former journalist made some research, he would have also found out that many employers have been using “the economic crisis” as pretext to delay payments to their employees.
But at that time, Theodorakis had still his job at Mega TV and was doing fluffy, sugar-coated reports about “social issues.” He resigned in February 2014 in order to establish his party.
Apparently one of Theodorakis proposals to solve the problem and based on the “knowledge”?/”hypothesis”? that “many companies cannot pay their workers, while the state has debts of several billion euros to businesses.” The solution can be that “the money owed by the state will be used by the businesses as guarantee at the banks and so people will get paid,” so Theodorakis to Star TV.
Of course, there is an issue if the state does not owe money to company X… But maybe the campaign crowd has ideas how to solve the problem.
On Twitter the campaign runs under Hashtag #
#DoulevoDenPlironomai (I work but don’t get paid)
PS the figure of “1.2 million” is allegedly based on figures by the Labor Ministry. According to Labor Ministry data from November 2015, those paid with delay were 1,000,000 people, the Labor Institute of private sector union GSEE was estimated the number to have been 1.2million. Αccording to data for the first months of 2016, the ‘majority of 850,000 workers in private sector were paid with delay of several months.”
I have been surfing for more tha an hour for reliable data, the only thing I found by Greek Statistics Authority ELSTAT was that in the first 3 months of 2016 the number of ‘workers’ was 3.6 million and here I also assume the date refers both to private and public sector, it may include freelancers as well.