Labor agreements reached at the level of individual firms are feasible in Greece only if they improve the terms that country- and industry-level agreements offer to workers. The memorandum between Greece and EU/IMF requires changing this system towards one where firm-level agreements prevail. This change has been opposed strongly by union leaders, representatives of employer bodies, and the Ministry of Labour. We believe, however, that firm-level agreements are the right solution. A key advantage of firm-level agreements is that they take into account the conditions specific to each firm, and especially the productivity of its workers. Moreover, while industry- or country-level agreements could in principle take into account important economic variables such as unemployment and competitiveness, this often does not happen in practice. Industry- and country-level agreements are influenced by the interests of union leaders, which differ from those of a large fraction of the labour force—especially the unemployed and those who risk losing their jobs.
This article has been written by Costas Meghir and Dimitri Vayanos. The full article here.
A short version of the article in Kathimerini newspaper here.