By S. Papapetros
One of the most high-profile commitments made by the Greek government towards the IMF last week, in its request that the Fund participate in the ongoing adjustment program (third bailout), involves an oft-repeated pledge to change a 1982 law that stipulates how industrial actions are decided in the country.
The leftist-rightist coalition government promised to change the law and to mandate that 51 percent of union members must attend an extraordinary general assembly that convenes to decide on strike actions.
Although the change may appear as insignificant for a foreign observer, such a reform constitutes a major development in Greece, where decisions for industrial actions are often decided by a militant minority within a union or union sub-sector.
Changing the specific law has been an IMF demand since the first memorandum in 2010 and, in fact, is among 113 "prior actions" that Athens must implement by August 2018. Currently, only one-third of eligible members of a first instance labor chapter must be present at a general assembly where a decision for a strike can be taken. Unionists, on their part, charge that such a regime is
The other high-profile action promised by the Tsipras government entails a much greater "political cost" and will affect pocket books, i.e. recalculating pension rates.
This measure is expected to decrease most recalculated pension rates.