With wages stuck on the brink of poverty, Greek workers are being called upon to deal with the price explosion, inflation and the energy crisis.
One in two employees receives a salary lower than 800 euros and one in five under 500 euros. The collapse of salaries that took place in the last decade is reflected in the table of data of public orgs. ERGANI, EFKA and OAED.
47.05% of employees are paid 800 euros gross, while 18.26% receive wages below 500 euros. 56% of employees are paid less than 900 euros (gross) and 63.6% are paid less than 1,000 euros per month.
These amounts are within the limits of the minimum wages including three year raises and marriage allowance. This fact shows the necessity of adjusting the minimum wages.
The salaries of employees remain at extremely low levels, as according to the official data of the Labor Ministry’s ERGANI information system and the Unified Social Security Fund – EFKA (in the two months of October 2021) 1,017,728 out of the total of 2,163,610 employees are paid salaries up to 800 euros. At the same time 71.81% of employees work more than 35 hours per week.
According to the data, the vast majority of employees are employed in small and medium enterprises. Of the 291,808 companies, 88.3% employ one to ten employees, while 10% of the companies employ 11 to 50 employees.
Also, three out of ten employees, ie 28.19%, work with flexible forms of employment, ie less than 35 hours per week.
Of the total workforce 395,115 employees receive less than 500 euros gross. 65,091 employees receive from 500 to 600 euros gross, 272,156 receive from 600 to 700 euros gross, and 285,366 receive from 700 to 800 euros gross.
Given all this, the General Confederation of Greek Workers – GSEE calls for the minimum wage to return to 751 euros or otherwise the ruling party’s election commitment to increase the minimum to twice the GDP growth, which leads to an increase close to – perhaps even higher – than 12%.
Typical is the reference to the decision of the Executive Committee of the organization: “the government must keep its pre-election commitment, restoring – albeit a remnant of it (doubling the economic growth for each year) – the minimum wage to 751 euros and then deliver this new limit to the EGSSE (ie GSEE and employers’ organizations) “.
The issue of the minimum wage, the sectoral agreements, but also the crucial issue of rising prices are the main demands for the general nationwide 24-hour strike announced by GSEE, ADEDY and the Athens Labor Center for Wednesday, April 6.