Syriza MEP Chountis Says Labor Reforms Unlawful

Nikos Chountis, one of the Greek Coalition for the Radical Left (SYRIZA) Members of the European Parliament, has asked the European Union (EU) to withdraw its demands for changes to labor laws in Greece part of a new package of $17.45 billion in austerity measures.

Chountis said the changes are unlawful under international conventions Greece has signed. The EU, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank make up Greece’s Troika of lenders putting up $325 billion in two bailouts but have attached stringent conditions in return.

Among the reforms are further changes to the minimum wage, a six-day work week, big reductions in severance pay for fired workers and less warning time before they are fired.

The Troika wants the authority to set the already-reduced minimum wage to be granted to the Minister of Labor, who could act unilaterally without consulting the Parliament. Chountis said that is unlawful and also violates three Convention of Labor Rights (1949, 1978m 1981) signed by Greece and ILO, the International Labor Organization.

(Source: European Commission)