NEWS

Steel company puts 200 of 263 staff into mobility scheme

One of the country’s main steel producers, Halyvourgiki SA, announced on Thursday that it has placed 200 of its 263 workers in a labor mobility scheme that will see them on reduced wages from February 17 to March 31, after which their status will be reassessed.

The move will effectively shut down the company’s production unit, in what unionists, who have called on Labor Minister Yiannis Vroutsis to intervene, say is a bid to pressure the government into reducing the producer’s operating costs by cutting electricity rates.

The company, meanwhile, issued a statement saying the mobility scheme is a last-resort solution, as demand for steel products plummeted from 2.5 million tons per year in 2008 to 300,000 tons in 2013.

The firm shed 148 jobs last year through a voluntary dismissals scheme and slashed salaries by 20 percent in an effort to avoid lay-offs.

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