PPC union Genop seeking three-year salary and workers rights agreement

Genop, the power utility PPC’s main union, is seeking to secure a new three-year collective wage agreement for the utility’s staff, to take effect February, when the existing agreement expires, until 2021.

Much may change during this three-year period, including the transfer of 40 percent of PPC’s lignite units to private-sector companies, and the sale of a 17 percent stake. If actualized, these developments, included in the Greek bailout, promise to reduce PPC to roughly half its current size.

Genop officials are scheduled to meet with PPC’s board tomorrow. The union group’s main objective will be to maintain salaries at their current levels and protect various other worker rights for the next three years.

The union representatives are expected to apply pressure on the utility’s CEO Manolis Panagiotakis to maintain promises made concerning salary levels and worker rights.

Early this year, PPC sought to reduce its payroll by offering 15,000-euro bonuses to retirement-age workers still employed at the utility. The offer concerned some 200 employees, aged around 60, who were eligible for retirement but continued to work as a result of pension reductions. A total of 180 employees ended up accepting the offer, while 19 who refused ended up being fired. Four of these retrenchments were made recently, in September.

At present, PPC’s workforce numbers 10,600 employees at the parent company; a further 6,500 at DEDDIE, the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator; as well as 1,400 employees at IPTO, the power grid operator.