Protesters demonstrated outside the Greek parliament as lawmakers inside approved a bill which will see 15,000 state employees lose their jobs by the end of next year.
The legislation also makes it easier to fire government workers for disciplinary reasons, extends an unpopular property tax and opens up professions such as accountants and bakers.
Kostas Tsikrikas who is president of the Civil Servants Union ADEDY said: “All workers have to raise their voice in opposition to these policies, both in our country and in Europe, we have to co-ordinate our battle together to overturn these policies.”
The new law ends what had been a constitutional guarantee for civil servants of a job for life. Other state workers such as teachers will also have to work longer.
“We are against this and now they are increasing our working hours and this move is only going to lead to more job losses. And as you understand this does not benefit teachers, nor the education system, and above all not the children,” complained teacher Christina Angeloniki.
The passing of the law was a condition for unlocking over eight billion euros of EU-led rescue loans.
But critics say it will only add to Greece’s 27 per cent unemployment rate.