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Greece Organized Labor
Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies; CIA World Factbook
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    Labor union activities have frequently been subjected to legal restrictions by regimes that considered stable economic conditions the paramount domestic goal. Although the GSEE was established in 1918 and in 1994 comprises some 3,000 unions and fifty-seven federations, it rates low in public esteem, as does the Supreme Civil Servants' Administrative Committee (Anotati Dioikousa Epitropi Dimosion Ipallilon), known as ADEDI (see Labor Unions , ch. 3). In the early 1980s, PASOK attempted to cultivate a healthier activism in the GSEE after that organization's activities had been paralyzed for decades by extreme right- or left-wing dogmatism. By 1985, however, election setbacks were blamed partly on trade-union hostility, and PASOK responded by packing the unions with party activists. Thus the unions reverted to political control after a largely unconsummated commitment to independent advocacy.

    The cultural hostility toward the activity of permanent labor organizations is matched by the public attitude toward the Association of Greek Industrialists (Sindesmos Ellinon Viomikhanon- -SEV), the powerful group that represents the interest of private industries. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, however, SEV greatly improved its public image.

    Party meddling in the unions and subsequent confrontational tactics became equally flagrant during the ND government that took office in 1990. In the summer of 1992, following the privatization of the Urban Transportation Company, prolonged strikes and social upheaval put the ND administration on the defensive. With the return of PASOK to power in the fall of 1993, renationalizations (socializations) were soon announced, and a fresh wave of confrontations was in full swing by the spring of 1994. Experts believed that plans for increased privatization of state-owned industries, set to begin in the winter of 1994-95, were likely to begin a new phase of active trade unionism.

    Data as of December 1994

    NOTE: The information regarding Greece on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Greece Organized Labor information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Greece Organized Labor should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.

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Revised 10-Nov-04
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