Union cites PPC employee asset rights in European Court case

Genop, the power utility PPC’s main union, has resorted to an older argument used as an attempt to stop the split and sale of power grid operator IPTO, a former subsidiary, by citing PPC employee asset ownership rights in an effort to delay the bailout-required disinvestment of PPC lignite units and mines, representing 40 percent of the power utility’s overall lignite capacity.

The union, in a case prepared for the European Court, contends that PPC employee and retired personnel asset ownership rights have been incorporated into the company as a result of social security contributions withheld by PPC.

Genop used the same argument, more or less, in a case filed about a year ago to the European Court against the sale of 24 percent stake of IPTO to the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC). Though the European Court has yet to deliver a verdict on the matter, neither the IPTO sale nor its operation under an entirely new ownership set-up, were obstructed.

Genop was encouraged to also resort to European Court action against the PPC disinvestment obligation as the union is counting on the pending IPTO-related verdict.

The union group is basing its worker asset co-ownership rights case on an agreement reached in 1999 between the then-Development Ministry and Genop over social security issues for personnel ahead of PPC’s bourse listing.