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Politics

New Democracy Moves to Bust Strikes, Require One-Third Staff

ATHENS – Greek workers at state-run companies who strike would nevertheless have to insure one-third of the staff remain on the job to prevent disruption of services under a bill from the ruling New Democracy.

That would effectively render strikes meaningless, with trade unions who declare strikes responsible for keeping the minimum staff in place, said Kathimerini, the legislation going to public consultation before Parliament.

The report said the aim is not to interfere with operations deemed essential although it wasn’t specified which those would be or whether most or all could be deemed to be in that category.

The same law will also contain provisions stating which unions have the right to exercise labor action, the pro-business government moving to further curtail workers’ rights.

The law, if approved by the Parliament the government controls, would also bar occupations of business premises and the blocking of entrances during strike action so that people could still get in.

Strikers would also be prohibited from using psychological or physical means that would keep others from reaching premises or opposing the work shutdown and to let non-strikers go to work.

The legislation will set the stage for a showdown with the major opposition pro-worker SYRIZA which has hard core anti-business elements as it also requires trade unions to frequently update registers, register digital books and also keep minutes of meetings or public general assemblies.

Electronic voting will likely be required for board meetings, appointments and general meetings and companies would be required to create an electronic bulletin board so unions could inform workers, with employers given 24 hours before a strike can begin to prevent wildcat action.

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