UNI Europa is cautiously optimistic about Eurozone governments having agreed to start negotiations on an ESM programme with Greece.
But scepticism remains as to who will have to pay for that. Oliver Roethig, Regional Secretary of UNI Europa said, ‘Greece has to be rebuilt for the Greek people, not for satisfying a neoliberal austerity model for the EU’s future.’
UNI Europa will follow closely as the details of the negotiations unfold – especially in the light of the EU summit statement’s approach to workers’ rights: ‘undertake rigorous reviews and modernisation of collective bargaining, industrial action and, in line with the relevant EU directive and best practice, collective dismissals, along the timetable and the approach agreed with the Institutions. On the basis of these reviews, labour market policies should be aligned with international and European best practices, and should not involve a return to past policy settings which are not compatible with the goals of promoting sustainable and inclusive growth’.
Oliver Roethig further commented:
- ‘questioning collective bargaining and labour rights and making conditions even worse for the ordinary people is certainly not the way to save a country from bankruptcy and even more so absolutely not in line with Social Europe’
- ‘international and European best practice in labour market policies are those promoted by the ILO and certainly include full respect for trade union rights and collective bargaining –from past experience the Troika has been seriously lacking this respect’
- ‘as the IMF has stated, high level of trade unionism and collective bargaining are actually a prerequisite for promoting sustainable and inclusive growth’
‘Europe is about democracy – this cannot be replaced by a veto right for the Troika on parliamentary decisions in Greece’ he added.
UNI Global Union General Secretary Philip Jennings said: ‘A lost decade for Greece beckons. The EU has completed its ‘where can we put the boot in ‘ checklist. It’s all very sad.’
Bernadette Ségol, General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation said, ‘The EU has avoided the catastrophe of Grexit. But it comes at an incredibly high and hard price for the Greek people.
Read the full ETUC statement here
Elke Zander, Communications Officer, UNI Europa