Unions, employers begin wage talks

Despite an initial agreement to hold talks on a 39-hour work week, it appears that collective wage bargaining will be a tough affair this year. Representatives of the General Confederation of Greek Labor (GSEE), the Federation of Greek Industries (SEV), the National Confederation of Greek Commerce (ESEE) and the General Confederation of Greek Small Businesses and Traders (GSEVEE) met yesterday for the first time to discuss a collective agreement on pay rises. GSEE President Christos Polyzogopoulos, a member of the ruling Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), appeared rigid in his demands, saying he would accept nothing short of an 8 percent pay raise and a reduction of the work week by one hour, to 39 hours.