“The minimum wage must be above the threshold of a decent standard of living, as despite the increase in 2022, it is still below the poverty threshold” said the president of INE/GSEE
“The minimum wage in our country is still below the poverty line and this must be taken into account for how much it should be increased” said the scientific director of INE/GSEE, George Argeitis in a press conference held in Heraklion, in the presence of and the President of GSEE and INE/GSEE Yiannis Panagopoulos and the president of the Labor Center of Heraklion, Stelios Borgias.
“All needs must be assessed. The minimum wage must be above the threshold of a decent standard of living, as despite the increase in 2022, it is still below the poverty threshold,” said Mr. Argeitis, referring to the study that has been prepared.
As he noted, the core of the proposal is that the institutional role of the minimum wage has to do with the protection and guarantee for the worker, in order to have a decent standard of living for him and his family.
The INE/GSEE proposal for the minimum wage is 826 euros per month in order for the employee “not to be on the threshold of poverty”, emphasized Mr. Argeitis.
He noted that this proposal does not cause inflation, while it foresees a 2.5% reduction in the rate of material deprivation. The study, at the time of the press conference, was also sent to OMED (Mediation and Arbitration Organization).
For his part, the president of GSEE, Giannis Panagopoulossaid: “Trade unionists suffer daily from the deregulation that has taken place since 2012 in the labor market.
He noted that in the last 14 years the minimum wage has not returned to the point where it was determined in 2008, reaching 713 euros today.
“All the governments since 2014 have instrumentalized the minimum wage, killing rabbits with parsley” noted the president of the GSEE, and proceeding to a historical review focusing on the minimum wage, he added that, in 2019, one month before the elections minimum wage increased from 586 to 650 euros.
“While the country experienced significant rates of growth, we did not see a corresponding increase in the minimum wage, even though we also have galloping inflation,” said Mr. Panagopoulos, calling for “mature and responsible behavior from now on in the entire political system.” .
“We expect this government and whoever emerges in the next elections to stop this merry-go-round of populism, against the background of the minimum wage,” said Mr. Panagopoulos, stressing that there must be institutional restorations.
Unfreezing the three years
“Let’s get into the inner workings of the minimum wage, strengthen it, and look at side issues such as the three years” said the president of GSEE.
“I estimate that if the war ends and the Greek and global economy balances, tourism will increase, unemployment will fall, then what will they tell us, that the workers should get a total of 30% increases?” he pointed out meaningfully himself.
Blasting the … at will freezing and unfreezing of increases, G. Panagopoulos spoke of … an oriental bargain and in no case institutional increases.
Panagopoulos: “I am addressing the Prime Minister”
Mr. Panagopoulos explained that the “other side” does not come to the dialogue table “because they know that any increase will be below our proposal”. However, he also referred to the recent presence of K. Mitsotakis in Crete for the conference of the European People’s Party.
“Exactly 4 months ago with the president of EKHI and the president of the hotel employees of Heraklion, we saw the Prime Minister and raised the issue of seasonal employment. He could not give an answer, on the leg, for an issue he did not know. He gave an order to the ministers to set an official meeting in Athens to discuss the issue. The meeting has not taken place, it has been postponed for a long time. Seasonal employment will open shortly, the minimum wage will be announced” – noted the President of GSEE.
Submitting his proposal to the Prime Minister, he invited him to activate a Commission, which is provided for by the Constitution and has not been activated for 12 years. The reason for the National Employment Committee, at whose table the issues should be raised in order to make responsible decisions.
“Tourism cannot start and the workers are in danger,” stressed Mr. Panagopoulos.
“Accuracy is galloping, incomes are not enough for many households” noted the President of the Labor Center of Heraklion, also referring to the image he receives daily from the workers, regarding salary issues.
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