The European Parliament’s resolution of 2008 (22 October 2008) emphasised inter alia that it ‘… does not affect the exercise of fundamental rights as recognised by the Member States, by the conventions of the International Labour Organisation and by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, including the right to negotiate, conclude and enforce collective agreements and the right to take industrial action …’. In Greece, however, legislation has been adopted authorising State intervention in the process of free collective bargaining (establishing a maximum duration for collective agreements as well as deciding when those which are currently in force will terminate) as well as regarding decisions officially negotiated by the social partners, thereby penalising workers and striking at the heart of their basic social and economic rights as enshrined in the EU treaties and secondary legislation, as well as the case law established by the Court of Justice.
In this context, will the Commission answer the following:
The text of the bill (approved by the Greek Parliament on 12 February 2012) means that decisions have already been taken regarding issues determined by collective bargaining (such as the minimum wage) and effectively imposed on the social partners. One example is the reference to particular countries as models for wage costs. Is this practice in keeping with the principles and essence of social dialogue and the autonomous collective bargaining?
The eurozone countries which have a lower minimum wage than Greece have systems which guarantee a minimum income. How does the non-existence of such a system affect efforts to combat the problem of the working poor, of which Greece already has particularly high levels?
The situation which is developing in Greece is undermining the fundamental right to negotiate, conclude and enforce collective agreements. What measures will be taken by the Commission to honour its explicit commitment to promote and safeguard social dialogue in the case of Greece?