Firms can fire workers to hire cheaper labor

Overturning two lower court decisions, the Supreme Court has ruled that companies are entitled to sack employees in order to hire lower-paid workers in their stead, according to a report yesterday. Greece’s highest criminal and civil court found that there was no abusive practice in a packaged food company’s decision, four years ago, to lay off 15 production-line workers – arguing that new machinery had made them redundant – and then hire over 40 people on short-term contracts to do the same job for a lower wage, the Sunday Ethnos newspaper reported. A court of first instance and an appeals court had ruled in favor of the fired workers, forcing the company to pay their wages since their dismissal, as well as damages. The Supreme Court referred the case back to the appeals court for reconsideration.