ECONOMY

Collective pay pacts gaining momentum for banking, office and commerce employees

One after another, outstanding collective pay pacts are being sealed in the domains of banking, commerce and private sector employees. The process of collective negotiations for a pay pact in banks will probably begin next Thursday. Yesterday the Greek Federation of Bank Employees’ Unions (OTOE) suggested that there is a climate in favor of signing the pact and decided to limit its demands to three in the first meeting: quick appointment of banks’ representatives, no drawn-out negotiations and a satisfactory pact for the sector. Instead of its usual long list of demands, OTOE now intends to focus on salary raises before August. It expects no changes in working hours, although banks may suggest that. Yet the banks’ front of four months earlier has been broken. Some of the private banks think that the opportunity to abandon collective pacts has been missed and blamed it on Takis Arapoglou, president of the National Bank of Greece. On the other side, the government’s intervention in favor of collective pacts has helped OTOE. Negotiations on a commerce pay pact are in the final stretch, while the Private Employees’ Federation, the Federation of Greek Industries (SEV) and the General Confederation of Greek Small Businesses and Traders (GSEVEE) agreed on raises for office employees, with the two-year contract set for signing soon. SEV, GSEVEE, the National Confederation of Greek Commerce (ESEE), the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry (EBEA) and the Hellenic Network for Corporate Social Responsibility have signed an equal opportunities protocol with the General Secretariat for Equality.