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Nea Dimocratia would love to make strikes difficult, if it weren’t the gov’t partners

I’m afraid democracy in Greece tends to adopt more and more authoritarian features. Labour Minister Yiannis Vroutsis plans to radically change the strike law and make it more difficult for unions to declare strikes. According to information leaked in the Greek press on Sunday, the absolute majority of the workers (that is: majority all unions in an enterprise) will be needed to call a strike. There will be an thorough review of the unionists’ rights. Further, the issue of “lock out” would allow employers to close the enterprises in case of a long lasting strike.

Vroutsis (Nea Dimocratia) upset the other two coalition government partners PASOK and Democratic Left who voiced objections to his plans.

“We don’t remember any such clause in the coalition government agreement,” said Dimitris Chatzisokratis from DemLeft, while the party described it as “unacceptable initiative”.

“Yiannis Vroutsis as well other ministers, ND officials must understand that they do not promote their own party program, but the program of the coalition government,” said Fofi Genimata, PASOK spokeswoman.

On Monday, sources from the Labour Ministry dismissed ‘as claims’ plans to change the strike law. However DemLeft let know that leader Kouvelis was informed about these plans already some weeks ago.

So what was the purpose of leaking such information to the press? To show to the country’s lenders that Nea Dimocratia doe sits best to get rebelling workers under control and have the plans dropped after coalition partners’ reactions? Why sow wind, when it’s obvious to reap  whirlwind?

Here it should be noted, that workers’ unions especially in the public sector and the state-run enterprises (DEKO, electricity, public transport etc) have been “captured” by the two big parties that ruled the country for more than three decades.

Just BTW: the right to strike law anchored at the Greek Constitution.





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