ECONOMY

Heavy toll on salary workers

heavy-toll-on-salary-workers

The twin health and financial crisis is having a dramatic impact on the labor market and the lives of workers who amid increasing uncertainty about their jobs also suffered a salary cut of as much as 20% in many cases.

The prospect of the gradual lifting of protection measures such as furloughs in the context of transition to labor normality appear to be of concern to the government and especially the Labor Ministry, as new Minister Kostis Hatzidakis noted on Tuesday in his first online conversation with representatives of the Greek Labor Confederation (GSEE).

Sources say Hatzidakis promised that no effort will be spared in the coming months so that this transition, after the gradual lifting of measures such as contract suspensions, will be as smooth as possible without any negative effects on employment. The European resources are expected to play a key role in this process, with the minister highlighting as a priority their optimum utilization for skill-teaching initiatives to the benefit of workers and the unemployed.

An Alco survey for GSEE’s Labor Institute found that most salary workers fear a considerable salary cut along with an extension in working hours and the growth of teleworking without any checks.

It showed that six in 10 salary workers have already suffered cuts, while 36% stated that their pay reduction had been above 21%. The majority of workers (56%) expressed pessimism about the course of the country in the months to come.

Four in 10 workers said they have worked remotely during the pandemic, with the majority speaking in negative terms about its uncontrolled growth. About two-thirds of them (65%) said that teleworking had resulted in an increase in the hours they worked, while teleworking had an adverse impact on their rights, 54% said, and on their personal lives, according to 52% of those sampled.

GSEE stressed to Hatzidakis that the labor relations the pandemic has created are hurting workers disproportionately.