Employers, employees in agreement on labor changes

Employers, employees in agreement on labor changes

Representatives of employer associations and employee unions reached a minimum level of agreement on Tuesday on the changes required to labor laws, choosing to put aside disagreements and objections on specific issues, in order to give the government a “significant weapon” in the forthcoming negotiations with creditors in September, which are expected to be particularly tough.

Despite the consensus, contentious issues such as group layoffs, the ability to extend collective labor contracts and the strengthening of sector contracts over corporate ones, were not discussed in detail.

The joint declaration by the associations and the unions was instead restricted to the ratification of meetings held under the auspices of the International Labor Organization (ILO) and an expression of agreement that there is no issue regarding a reduction to the minimum wage or the abolition of the Christmas, Easter and summer holiday bonuses, known as the 13th and 14th monthly salaries.

The declaration also stressed that the minimum wage should be agreed by the social partners (employers and employees) in the context of the National General Collective Labor Contract and that the law on unions will need to be modernized, though without challenging the right to strike.

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