PPC union firing up for next week’s shareholders meeting

The power utility PPC’s main union group Genop plans to take unspecified side action at this coming Monday’s general shareholders meeting in a bid to prevent the approval of the split and sale of PPC subsidiary IPTO, the power grid operator. Monday’s session is needed after last week’s meeting was disrupted by Genop union members.

Besides the IPTO sale plan, a bailout requirement, Genop unionists have been further enraged by the recent disclosure of a plan entailing the prospective transfer of an additional 34 percent of PPC to the country’s new super privatization fund.

The new fund will serve as a parent company for a number of subsidiaries. These include TAIPED, the existing State Privatization Fund, into which a 17 percent of PPC has already been transferred. The Greek State currently holds a 51.12 percent of PPC, including the 17 percent transfered to TAIPED.

Earlier this week, Genop’s leadership met with energy minister Panos Skourletis, who assured the unionists that IPTO employees will not suffer losses as a result of the IPTO split and sale from PPC.

According to the sale plan, the Greek State will take on a 51 percent of IPTO, a strategic investor will be offered between 20 and 24 percent, and the remainder will also be sold.

Skourletis warned the unionists that they will be held accountable for whatever consequences may occur if they disrupt proceedings once more at PPC’s general shareholders meeting this Monday.

The bailout’s IPTO breakaway plan underlines that if the international creditors conclude that satisfactory progress is not being made, especially on the effort to find a strategic investor, then IPTO will be fully privatized in 2017.

Genop held a meeting yesterday to shape their strategy for Monday. The union group has announced it will hold a three-hour work stoppage between 10am and 1pm on Monday, timed to coincide with the PPC shareholders meeting. No other information has been revealed. The union group is not expected to remain complacent.

Following last week’s controversial disruption, Genop members were warned by PPC that their stance could end up depriving the Greek State of its majority control over IPTO.