The so-called “great resignation” in the US, as a wave of job departures since the outbreak of the pandemic has been dubbed, has got a Greek version too. The problem in Greece, however, does not concern well-paid posts but jobs that are regarded as less rewarding and more psychologically taxing. The problem is so acute that the government is holding an extensive meeting this week to find some solutions.
The phenomenon is being seen mainly in low-skill jobs, which are often badly paid, provide insufficient social security and are typically seasonal. This summer, for example, an estimated 50,000 workers will be missing from the key sectors of tourism and food service.
In response to this shortage, the Labor Ministry is working in cooperation with the Tourism Ministry on a blueprint for tackling the problem as the tourism season has already started with positive prospects, something that will entail increased staff needs.
Kathimerini understands that Labor Minister Kostis Hatzidakis will this week start a round of talks with stakeholders and ask them to present proposals so that specific programs are drafted to cover vacancies.
The problem, which due to the seasonal character of tourism and food service was also seen in previous years, became even more serious last summer, when some 60% of companies reopened after a long lull in the tourism sector due to the start of the pandemic. Last August the number of people employed in tourism was 175,741, while in 2019 (tourism’s record year) they numbered 186,575, which constitutes a 5.8% reduction.
This year the problem appears even bigger, with many people relating it to the “great resignation” issue. Labor law expert Giannis Karouzos tells to Kathimerini that the main reasons for this surge in departures is due to adverse working conditions and the preference of some workers to rely on unemployment benefits instead of a salary for a few months.
He adds that in order for companies to hold on to their staff they need to invest in their human resources as well as transforming themselves.