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Society

New Democracy Wants E-Vote Before Workers Strike, Backs Firings

August 12, 2019

ATHENS – After making it easier for employers to fire workers, the new New Democracy government is going to push a measure that would require unions let workers vote electronically to prove there’s a majority for any prospective strikes.

Government sources who weren’t identified told Kathimerini that there won’t be any change to a provision passed by decree in 2018 when the Radical Left SYRIZA was in power that requires a majority of active members of a trade union back support striking.

But there was no way to validate that and Labor Minister Yiannis Vroutis said electronic voting will soon be required – there was no explanation how its safety from hacking or manipulation could be guaranteed.

Vroutis said the scheme means “the unrestricted universal participation of workers in the exercise of their rights.” An electronic register of members of both employer and employee trade unions will also be created that will also enhance transparency.

Also under discussion is the creation of a special web page for employers where trade unions can publish strike actions, it was said, with legal experts telling the paper that a basic precondition for the digitization project is the safeguarding of personal data of labor union members in an age where data breaches are common.

They said that vote confidentiality must be ensured and that the integrity of the voting procedure is secured but there were no details on how that would be accomplished.

New Democracy is taking a 180-degree different approach from SYRIZA in some cases, although the Leftists also stripped workers of rights. The government attached last-second amendments to an omnibus bill that will end a requirement that employers must justify in writing the reason for firing or laying off workers, benefiting businesses instead of workers.

That led to most of the opposition parties walking out in complaint that Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ New Democracy government is against workers and with the elite as former Premier Alexis Tsipras had repeatedly said before being ousted in July 7 snap elections that he called.

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