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Labor confederation presents plans for half a million jobs

Employment proposals usually come either from the Finance ministry or from employer unions. So when the biggest workers union comes up with a solid plan for massive employment, the press takes notice.

Greek Workers Confederation (GSEE) has set up its own employment institute which usually conducts research on the levels of employment and workers' rights. This time they sunk their teeth into solid employment policy territory, officially presenting the government with a plan involving 11 month contracts for jobs with the Greek state.

It's called “Guaranteed Employment Proposal” and asks for 550,000 working contracts with the state for a period of 11 months, under an elaborate new Marshall plan. That is a significant portion of the 1.3 million unemployed recorded today. According to the research, the proposal could create as many as a million work positions in 15 months and raise the GDP by 15.3 billion euros.

The proposal is based on a US Levy Economics Institute research about Greek economy and employment, part of a greater research about the US economy and its connection to the international markets. The Institute concludes that austerity in Greece could potentially lead to some good results in the end, but IMF policies for deficit reduction are actually leading to “a tremendous failure in employment reinforcement”, which could lead to an unemployment rate of 28% by 2015.

The research, analyzed by both Levy Institute and GSEE pundits, includes four alternatives for the restoration of growth and employment in the Greek economy. These are:

  • Capital transfer to Greece from foreign governments through a modern Marshall plan.

  • Public debt interest rates payment suspension in order to create funds for an employment surge.

  • Introduction of a parallel financial system with new state bonds issuance in “Guero”, a parallel currency.

  • The formation of a “Last Resort Employer” funded by the parallel financial system.

The report says this is the only way employment can return to the country, estimating 550,000 unemployed workers hired for 11 months by state services, could contribute to the failing national product.

It's a revolutionary proposal, getting traction in America as an emergency rescue plan to minimize unemployment. It is doubtful whether it will get any traction here at home, but it is an honest proposal coming from a union hard hit by the recession.