What OEB and KEBE state in “K” – The Minister of Labor is optimistic that there will be a positive response
Photos: Philippos Christou
By Panagiotis Rougalas
“Small basket” we should keep regarding the performance of the Automatic Price Indexation (ATA) at 66.6% of the employers. At the same time, the Minister of Labor and Social Insurance, Yiannis Panagiotou, who presented the compromise proposal for ATA on Friday, April 28 in a meeting he had with the social partners, is optimistic that there will be a positive response.
In his statements to “K”, the general secretary of the KEBE, Marios Tsiakkis, explained that the position of the employers remains that the ATA institution is wrong and some other solution must be found. He added that the employers were prepared to make a retreat on this position on the basis that the Minister of Labor had made it clear that the institution could not be abolished. However, as Mr. Tsiakkis said, what they heard at the meeting on Friday, April 28 reduces even more the scope for finding a settlement. Mr. Tsiakkis, however, left a small window for a solution, saying that the final decisions will be made at the meeting of the employer on Wednesday, May 3.
Accordingly, the general secretary of the OEB, Michalis Antoniou noted that the Minister's proposal presented to them will be studied with responsibility and respect. “The institution should not enter into a logic of a barren abolition, but create a mechanism that is consistent with the times and the data of the economy. It is a pending matter that must be ended in a consensual manner and not create problems whenever there is a crisis, inflation and others”, he commented. Mr. Antoniou said that the OEB will also put the Minister's proposal to their collective bodies within the week, despite the fact that it is far from the goals and aspirations of the organization.
< h3 class="bd_Title">The institution will not be abolished
The Minister of Labor, Mr. Panagiotou, had revealed in an interview with “K” since March that the institution is not going to be abolished, but it could not be attributed to an absolute degree. As he had commented in this regard, ATA's philosophy is specific, and to be maintained it must be automatic, take into account the cost of living and adjust wages accordingly. The compromise proposal of Friday, April 28 presented by the Minister is based on 4 points. First, the renewal of the interim agreement of 2017 for a period of three years, secondly, the increase of the ATA payment rate to two-thirds of the Consumer Price Index instead of the 50% that applies today (66.6% that is) and the 0% that applied before, third the immediate payment of increases to workers from 1 June in line with 2022 inflation and fourth the development of structured social dialogue for a comprehensive agreement by 2025 with permanency.
It is noted that there will be a new meeting with the Minister of Labor on Friday, May 5 in the morning to give the employers' final position on the Minister's compromise proposal.