PPC, union to discuss utility’s planned pension-age job cuts

A plan by main power utility PPC to shed 200 jobs concerning pension-aged staff members who have opted to keep working is one of the issues on the agenda of a meeting to be held today between the uility’s CEO Manolis Panagiotakis and the leadership at Genop, PPC’s main union group.

Though PPC’s board had pledged to first discuss the job-cutting plan with the union before taking any decisions, the utility intends to press ahead with the move, included on the agenda of an upcoming board meeting scheduled for January 9, sources have informed.

According to these sources, 70 technicians, 75 engineers, 20 managers, as well as 15 administrative division employees are among the PPC workforce members who will be dismissed.

Genop has long expressed its strong disapproval of these planned job cuts, citing full severance pay will not be offered. The union has noted it would remove its objections to the job cuts if full compensation amounts are provided.

In recent years, a growing number of long-serving state utility employees qualified for pensions have opted to carry on working, driven by financial reasons amid the ongoing recession.

At PPC, for example, the number of retirees has been diminishing. A total of 2,500 pension-aged company employees retired in 2010. This figure slowed to 1,500 in 2011 and fell to levels of between 600 and 700 in more recent years. Last year’s retirement tally at the utility plummeted to just 150 persons. PPC’s percentage of retiring employees has fallen from rougly 4 percent of its total workforce to 1.5 percent.

Though the figures are unclear at other state utilities, similar trends are believed to be prevailing.