Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The battle of the Banquet restaurant goes on - Thessaloniki, Greece

When one of the employees of the upscale Banquet restaurant in the centre of Thessaloniki had the temerity to ask for wages owed him he was promptly fired setting off a chain of protests outside the establishment which has continued now for over a month.

Accused of failing to pay overtime, legally mandated minimum wage, overtime rates and keeping tips the management decided to close down the place rather than pay what they owed employees and re-hire the dismissed worker.

What you have in microcosm is the painful choices being forced upon millions of Greeks, either work for a pittance without "luxuries" such as overtime, holiday pay or health insurance or become unemployed. Despite what the foreign media may say about the Greek welfare state its provisions come nowhere near providing a safety net for the country's poorest and most vulnerable.

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