PAME workers union has taken up issue against the immensely popular Mikel coffee shop chain, denouncing the employer for binding its workers with extreme penalty clauses in private contracts
The communist party affiliated union in its public denouncement states that the company is forcing employees to sign contacts with clauses that penalize them with thousands of euros if for a year after their possible layoff, or resignation, they seek employment with a food service company, or, if a first degree relative works in such an establishment.
The PAME bureau for tourism/food service and the Union of Tourism – Food Service Businesses of Thessaloniki – Pieria - Chalkidiki that sign the denouncement stress that the tactics followed by Mikel turns employees into “corporate hostages,” even “after they are fired, attacking their “most basic labor and social rights,”
The unions note that an employee was already fired at a Thessaloniki store after simply discussing the issue, while also stressing that in the workplace at Mikel this incident “is not unique and will not remain unanswered.”
The chain, which is expanding like a wildfire, has long had a presence in central and northern Greece, but is now making tremendous inroads all over the country.
The deals forced on employees in this time of galloping unemployment are by no means limited to the food service sectors. Employers in all sector have found opportunity to eek as much as possible from workers for as little pay and as few benefits as possible. This can only get worse.