Court ruling reins in unionists

Unionists have criticized a Supreme Court decision that says employers can dismiss union representatives if they have acted in a way that targets the company specifically rather than supporting worker rights. The court ruling, published earlier this week, found that the dismissal of a union representative was not an abuse of power as the ex-employee had publicly criticized his company in claims that were proven to be baseless. Greece’s largest union group, GSEE, described the decision as being undemocratic. «Those who work toward these sorts of decisions should know that they cannot alienate or put a stop to our fight,» said GSEE (the General Confederation of Greek Labor) press representative, Stathis Anestis. According to a 1982 law, which offers workers registered as union representatives extra protection from employers, their dismissal is not an abuse of power by the company «if he is acting beyond the limit of union activities.» The court ruling related to a case where an unnamed worker had told a radio station his employer leased buildings to the government that were not up to regulation and posed a threat to tenants. However, a study showed that the buildings were in sound condition and the company subsequently sued the employee for slander. «In the land of miracles, anything can happen. Even a return to the Middle Ages can take place,» said Nikos Skorinis, the general secretariat of the General Confederation of Greek Small Businesses and Traders, told state television NET. Other union officials invited to comment on the ruling by Kathimerini said they need to take a closer look at the reasoning behind the decision before being able to assess its possible impact on union groups.