Several employers found a “recipe” to fill their cash registers over the Christmas days: they demanded back the Christmas bonus they are obliged by law to pay to employees.
The employees’ complains landed at the unions offices one after the other.
In Patras, workers at retail shops, restaurants and cleaning services complained to the Union of Private Sector Employees that their bosses demanded the Christmas bonuses back.
Several complaints reached also unions in Larissa, Central Greece. The President of local Workers’ Center even claimed ” I wouldn’t exaggerate to say that in the catering sector phenomenon has reached 80 percent.”
Among others, “a big sweet shop chain claimed back the bonus threatening to fire those workers who would not comply,” he said adding that “unfortunately employers demand back also wages claiming economic hardship.”
The problem is that the employees cannot prove that they had to return the little extra as in the majority of cases they have to return the bonus in cash right after they withdrew it from the ATM.
Similar incidents have been reported from the island of Crete as well.
Supermarket chains have reportedly forced back the Christmas bonus and gave to employees a bag with food items instead.
It is not the first year that employers claim back the Christmas bonus which equivalent to a monthly wage.
Greece is times of economic crisis makes employers creative in a very negative way – no matter what the Labor Law dictates.