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Wages in Greece’s tourism & catering sectors down by 50%-60%

Workers in Greece complain that more and more employers in tourism and catering sector force them to work with ridiculously low wages and without social security. Such middle age conditions in the labor market did not exist even during the bailout agreements, workers say.

Wages have fallen by 50%-60%, says Giorgos Hotzoglou, president of the Panhellenic Federation of Workers in Food and Tourism.

Speaking to daily ethnos, he spoke of an “outbreak of delinquency” and “blackmail practices on the part of employers”, while he accused the government of “indifference” when it comes to support measures.

“A very large portion of employees are in poverty since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic crisis,” Hotzoglou stressed.

He noted that “such an explosion of crime and pressure on workers was not recorded even during the implementation of the harsh bailout agreements.”

He emphasized that the salaries of workers in food and tourism sector have fallen at a rate or reduction reaching up to 50% -60%. The result is that the collective labor contract is violated and even skilled workers are paid 650 euros per month.

Hotzoglou said that businessmen in the field of tourism are blackmailing employees, asking them, in order to be suspended work contracts and receive the 534 euros per month from the state, to sign a commitment that they will have no claims for re-employment in the company in 2021.

“Also, we have many complaints from colleagues, who tell us that, although they have joined the measure of suspension of work, entrepreneurs are pressuring them to work” illegally “and at the same time receive the state allowance, resulting in a double unlawfulness,” he said.

In addition, tourism companies on islands hire  workers from mainland Greece for the season, but they do not provide them with housing or food. The result is that employees are essentially working hard. “Unfortunately, the situation is tragic and it is a fact that many of my colleagues are in poverty,” The Federation President added.

The vast majority of of the sector workers who work in companies operating for 12 months and were suspended during the lockdown, have not yet received the 534 euro allowance from the state for the month of June, Hotzoglou said adding that the did not had any income for two months.

HE complained also that too strict conditions have been set for the granting of the 400 euro unemployment allowance by Manpower employment Agency OAED, with the result that less than 40% of the unemployed are entitled to it.

Some miss the allowance criteria because they worked just one day less that required. []

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One comment

  1. As a Brit living here I find the whole situation very sad, most of the taverna and accommodation owners I know have no choice but to not employ staff in stead the parents are the chefs, waiters and cleaners most in their 70 s just hoping for their family to survive and if they are lucky, very lucky they will break even with no winter money.