BUSINESS

Talks on salary cuts proceed in various sectors

By Christina Kopsini

The process of negotiating salary cuts in the trade and banking sectors began this week between employer associations and union representatives, with reductions ranging from 8 to 15 percent, according to sources.

Trade employer associations on Wednesday discussed and agreed to go ahead with drafting a ?social pact? and a new collective contract for the sector. They are set to warn of the risks and problems of the sector that employs 450,000 people and which suffered an 8.9 percent turnover drop in 2011.

The process involving employers will continue next week, while talks with the unions will then focus on cuts that are likely to range between 8 and 10 percent.

At the same time the Bank of Greece has agreed a new three-year labor contract with its union providing for cuts of between 2.5 and 7 percent along with an increase in work hours by 3.5 per week.

Alpha Bank is preparing for a 15 percent salary cut on average, which has drawn the wrath of the Federation of Bank Employee Unions (OTOE). Hotel proprietors are also after a 15 percent salary cut, while asking for an end to eight-hour shifts.

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