PPC endorses exit plan for 890 workers in west Macedonia

Power utility PPC’s board has approved an initial voluntary exit plan for 890 employees at lignite-fired power stations and mines operated by the corporation in the west Macedonia region, northern Greece.

The overwhelming majority of these workers, or 80 percent, are aged over 55, performing jobs  classified as labor-intensive and health-hazardous, and eligible for full pensions, energypress sources informed.

Company employees eligible for the voluntary exit plan must lodge applications by June 30.

The exit plan is being offered as a result of PPC’s phasing out of lignite units by 2023, beginning with a unit at Amynteo this year.

Just under 3,000 jobs will be lost following gradual closures of state-controlled PPC’s power stations and mines in the west Macedonia region, part of the government’s decarbonization policy.

Outgoing employees will each receive bonus severance pay of 20,000 euros, to cost the company 18 million euros, plus compensation of 15,000 euros, by law, for a further total cost of 13.5 million euros.

Salaries for the initial exit plan’s 890 workers are estimated to cost PPC an annual amount of 56 million euros.

Specific dates for the voluntary exit plan have yet to be announced by PPC officials. Workers are expected to gradually depart from July to December this year.

The PPC board will soon also reach decisions on equivalent voluntary exit plans for workers at Meliti, in northern Greece’s Florina area, and Megalopoli, in the Peloponnese.