Raise In Wages And Pensions!
With Collective Agreements!
What you should know about Collective Labor Agreements
The Collective Labor Agreement is the written agreement between the trade unions of workers and the employers, which defines the conditions of payment and labor, as well as the rights and obligations of the two parties.
The collective labor agreement was born in the end of the last century and was a product of the need of the working class to improve the standard of living from the exploitation of employers. It was imposed in various countries and sectors, by recognizing and strengthening the workers’ trade unions through hard, difficult strikes. The signing of the collective agreement was a matter of decisive demands from the workers, because the employers never abandoned the effort to compress wages and rights, even in times of growth.
The attack of the EU and all the governments up to today, especially after the three Memoranda, overturned the entire legal framework for collective agreements that had been gradually established through the struggles of the workers’ movement in the country, from 1955 to 1990. Almost all sectoral collective agreements were abolished, and the lowest minimum wage decreased by law, reaching 586€ and 511€ for young people under 24 years of age.
Today, the vast majority of workers, work with individual contracts. Within the same sector, even in the same workplace, there is no uniform status regarding the terms of work. Sixteen different working agreements differentiate not only wages, but also matters related to working time or other (institutional) terms regarding the protection of maternity, trade union and individual freedoms, the definition of duties and other rights that can be secured by a collective arrangement.
Therefore, we, all the workers, need to know everything about collective agreements, because it is important for our life, inside and outside the workplace.
Therefore, we all need to be informed, organized and active in our trade unions, to learn everything we need so that the collective labor agreement becomes a claim of all workers.
Only if we understand the necessity for collective labor agreements will we be able to force the employers’ organizations, through our struggles, to sign them with terms that will cover the losses we have had, based on our needs.
The content of the Collective Labor Agreements
• They set the daily and weekly working time, which is the point of reference of our wages.
• They determine the value of the workers’ labor force (salary, daily wage) in a collective way, so that the individual employer does not have the right to define it as they wish.
• They include the terms of labor of the workers, as well as various rights established through the struggles of the working class during the last two centuries. Without them, we, the workers, are powerless against the employers’ will, who will continue to define our lives with individual terms, inside and outside the workplace.
What are we fighting for?
We demand the signing of a new National General Collective Labor Agreement, the reenactment of the gross minimum wage at 751 euros. Raise in wages, pensions, social benefits.
We fight for the immediate abolishment of all anti-labor laws, which crush the Collective Agreements. We demand that they apply to all workers and that they are mandatory for all employers.
We fight for permanent, stable work with rights for all workers; we fight for the abolishment of all flexible forms of work, of the individual Labor Agreements and the Associations of Persons (associations of workers imposed by the employers to cosign wage cuts).
We fight for fixed daily and weekly work time, 7 hours per day, 5 days and 35 hours per week and, through the Collective Agreements, the securing of all allowances, benefits, days of leave, as well as measures for the protection of maternity.
We demand the elimination of the despicable division between old and young workers. We demand full wage, working and insurance rights for apprentices.
We say stop to the slave market of the employment programs and the despicable system of the contract employees. We demand the immediate closing of all modern slave-trade/outsourcing companies.
We demand that the pre-crisis wages in the Public Sector are restored, with increases in wages, we demand that the losses are covered and that the 13th and 14th salary are reinstalled.
Collective Contracts in Greece til 2012:
No worker’s gross salary was lower than 751 euros.
All employers were obliged to implement the Collective Labor Agreements that had been signed in various sectors with the respective trade unions.
There was no classification in wages and rights between old and new employees.
Workers could choose the most favorable collective regulation for them.
Collective Contracts in Greece Today:
The minimum gross wage is set by law at 586 euros. This is the wage of the majority of workers in the country.
There are very few sectoral collective agreements, which are not even mandatory for employers, because their enforcement stopped being mandatory since 2012.
There are hundreds of business collective agreements signed by employers’ associations or the famous “Association of Persons”, established by the employers themselves and their executives, which decrease wages and rights in the minimum level.
The majority of the workers sign individual contracts, where the employer determines, with the threat of unemployment, the level of wages and rights.
What are today’s modern needs for the worker and for his family
Today there is more need than ever to redefine what a modern need is for the worker and his family.
The produced wealth from the workers is multiple from that in the past decades, while the development of technologies and science have significantly contributed to the level of life for people. So can we today not adapt our demands based on what we produce? Can we settle with what we considered to be needs 40, 30 or even 20 years ago? Can we compromise with the crumbles, the half work–half life, the unsecured work?
Today’s modern needs are:
Permanent and steady work all year long, without the unemployment and the half-work to be an obstacle to the survival of the workers.
Social Security that ensures a widen grid of protection, so that after the working life to be protection and dignified life through the pensions, to provide a total cover and care for the working – popular family, the right and protection of motherhood, the insurance of children, the wealth fare benefits for the groups that are in more need.
Salaries that respond to a high level of living based on the produced wealth and the needs of the working families.
The reduction of the working time so that the worker can enjoy the products of his work, to develop the activities that desires, to make more time for his family.
Free, exclusively public and total access to education and to the reinstatement of his health.
Cheap popular housing with all the comforts that can be provided by the development of science and technologies
The vacations and recreation, tourism and the ability for the worker to know its own place, but other places and cultures too.
The Negative Role Of GSEE, ADEDY, The Governmental And Employer Controlled Unionism In A Series Of Federations And Trade Unions
GSEE, (ETUC Member In Greece)is a third level union that its members are Federations and Regional Trade Union from regions from all over the country. GSEE signs the National Collective Contract (NCC) that contains the minimum terms and rules of working for all the workers and constitutes since 1955 the economical background for all the collective arrangements in the country.
The leadership of GSEE never signed, not even in times of growth, a NCC that would cover the needs of the workers. With the beginning of the crises it accepted and signed starvation wages of 586€ which is the base of the negotiations for the contracts in each branch.
It negotiates even today what it will surrender, without even organizing any fight! It promotes the “social partnership”, the class collaboration with the employers, the submission of the workers to the choices of the big business groups.
In the same path are the leaderships in big Federations and Trade Unions, where with their signatures in collective contracts with cuts in salaries and rights, they grow the profits for the big employers, against the life of the workers. They are the partner of the governments and the parties that support this barbaric exploitative system.
What kind of Trade Unions we want
Our trade unions are the organizations of all the workers in one branch, or a business that must play a significant role, not only defending our interests, but mostly in collective thinking and action against the policies that lead the working class to permanent misery, to the barbarity that they want to impose.
The unions must be massive, open, democratic, to gather in their lines all the workers independently from their color, their nationality, political or religious opinions. To defend the interests of their members against the employers, to educate in the spirit of class struggle.
To respond immediately in every attack from the employers to the rights, to the terms of the work, in layoffs. To organize and mobilize the workers. Through this road the trade unions gain the trust of the workers, become massive, get strength. To fight for collectives contracts based on the needs of the working class.
What kind of movement we want today
Movement class oriented, organized and orientated against the employers, their laws and their sate.
Movement massive, organized based on the place of work and the branch.
Movement free from the agents of the employers and the government.
Movement that doesn’t fight only for the individual improvements, but for the total needs of the working family, for the overthrow and abolition of the exploitative relationships.
Movement internationalist that fights for a united cause in each and every country.
For this kind of movement the forces of PAME fight every day.
PAME in each branch and generally where there is a place of class rallying of unions, unionists, fight committees, who fight coordinated, all over Greece, with terms of massive movement, with aims for fighting that expresses the interests of the working class and conflicts with the strategy of the capital, to the total anti-peoples policies that are applied by the European Union and the governments of the capital.
It unites the private sector, the public sector, the unemployed, the retired etc. It doesn’t wait for GSEE or ADEDY to act. Every day it tries to develop a multiform struggle through the unions that are rallying with PAME.
|About Collective Contracts in Greece.pdf|