Talks underway to create ‘common front’ ahead of negotiations with creditors over labor reforms

19 July 2016
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Deliberations are ongoing to establish a “common front” by the Greek side – government, labor unions and employers’ groups – ahead of negotiations with institutional creditors over closely watched labor reforms demanded by the latter.

The relevant minister, Giorgos Katrougalos, will chair a meeting on Tuesday bringing together all the “Greek sides”, while another “parallel discussion” reportedly aims to find common ground between employers’ groups and unions for a new national collective bargaining agreement ahead of negotiations with creditors.

A series of issues were discussed between the minister and the head of the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV), Theodoros Fessas, on Monday. Those same issues are expected to be the focus on negotiations with creditors, i.e. a return of collective bargaining, company-level contracts, the role of the labor arbitration body, as well as changes in the law governing union activities in the country.

Employers’ groups have long cited “misinterpretations” in the way the current legal framework is applied, such as the way decisions are taken for proceeding with industrial actions.

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