Greece has adopted the contentious new Labor Legislation
Greek parliament have adopted a labor reform measure that has stirred debate and resulted in protests from labor organizations around the country. Workers will be able to choose between working longer hours in return for time off under the terms of the proposed legislation, which is intended to boost productivity in the Greek economy.
The main provisions of the law include the introduction of a new digital ID card, the establishment of a new independent body as labor inspectorate, the provision of a 14-day paid parental leave for new fathers, the determination of working hours on the basis of an employee's request, new measures to increase transparency between trade unions and employers, and the termination of employment that has been deemed illegal by the courts.
It also intends to distance trade unions from party allegiances and employers, establish new methods to deal with sexual harassment in the workplace, and create a platform for the defense of trade union rights, among other things. The most contentious aspect of the bill is that it defines which branches of employment would be permitted to function on Sundays. Finally, online workers will be given the option to disconnect as soon as the working day comes to an end, unless an alternative arrangement is made.
According to Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the centre-right Prime Minister, the law would establish the groundwork for more openness between employers and employees, as well as the ability for the means of production to decide the conditions for their effective collaboration. Furthermore, the introduction of a new digital working card will put a stop to unpaid overtime and undocumented labor, as well as sexist aggression and sexual harassment in the workplace, among other things.
All other legislative parties have expressed opposition to the law, with the head of the opposition, Alexis Tsipras, referring to the Prime Minister as the "archbishop of populism" in his statement. Labour unions and the eight-hour working day have been branded a "final blow" by Communist Party leader Dimitris Koutsioumpas, while the leader of the pan-European Democracy in Europe Movement (DiEM 25), Yanis Varoufakis, claims that his party is "wholeheartedly involved in the frontal conflict with those who decide to take legal action against strikes," a provision that can be found in the bill. Even the far-right party Greek Solution found itself in accord with its left- and far-left-leaning counterparts on issues such as the removal of the labor inspectorate and the rejection of the workers' "basic right" to strike, among other things.
Despite opposition to the law from all parties save the ruling New Democracy, it was passed by a vote of 158 to 142, a situation that has been repeated many times before and was made possible by the parties' overwhelming majority in Parliament.