Federation of Hellenic Enterprises presents positions on labor reform


The Federation of Hellenic Enterprises (SEV) on Monday presented its positions in an ongoing negotiation on labour issues between the Greek government and the institutions, during a meeting with Labour minister and representatives of trade unions.

SEV said it supported the preservation of supremacy of business contracts over sectorial contracts, deregulating group dismissals with social plans funded by community sources and abolishing an obligatory arbitration in labour disputes.

More analytically, SEV said that a large number of enterprises must be restructured in order to survive. This is not related with the sector of activity of each enterprise. On the contract, there are enterprises in every sector that perform well and several that could survie only with drastic restructuring. The current regulation offering business labour contracts supremacy over sectorial contracts, safeguarded the survival of several enterprises and job positions. Any opt out criteria could have significant risks on their implementation, SEV said.

On group dismissals, the Federation proposed an open program with community funding to cover their expenses. At present and for some years to come, group dismissals cover cases of life and death for some productive units. Therefore, any further financial burdening would jeopardise the preservation of the remaining job positions in these units.

SEV said Greece should a way to implement international rules that do not envisage unilateral resort to arbitration in labor disputes and noted that obligatory arbitration was a fundamental distortion of the landscape of free collective bargaining and has accumulated several problems in the past. The Federation said Greece should adopt only voluntary arbitration.

“For SEV, a modern and functional labour market, like the one described in its positoins, is directly related with necessary preconditions for economic development, improving competitiveness and adopting debt relief measures and accessing ECB’s QE program,” the Federation said in an announcement.