The new labor bill currently up for consultation introduces radical changes to the operation of unions that are certain to arouse the opposition of unionists, who will insist on the law passed in 1982.
While unions consider most of the clauses proposed as a casus belli, Labor Minister Kostis Hatzidakis has stated his determination to proceed with the changes he describes as “necessary” for the transparent operation of a modern and efficient union movement.
Among the changes proposed are the full registration of unions through their entry in a single register, online participation in unions’ general meetings, with the option of electronic voting to decide on strike action, a reduction in the amount of leave provided for unionists, and a general reduction of various union privileges. Crucially, the ban on laying off unionists will be lifted in the event of a serious reason.
Major changes regarding strikes are also proposed, clarifying the process for calling a strike or a work stoppage, forcing unionists to safeguard a worker’s right not to strike, and introducing the emergency operation of utilities on strike with a third of the staff.