ECONOMY

EAB hostage to unionists

Hellenic Aerospace Industry prevented from offering its services to Lockheed Martin

eab-hostage-to-unionists

A small group of unionists are constantly creating problems in the execution of contracts for Lockheed Martin by state corporation Hellenic Aerospace Industry (EAB), as they are opposed to the ongoing restructuring of the company. This means the new contracts that EAB seeks to land are at risk of being lost.

The Greek aircraft company has a contract with Lockheed Martin that it wishes to extend – while there are other suitors such as Poland – so as to produce about 30% of the F-16 aircraft’s fuselage (a fighter jet Lockheed Martins sells around the world) in Greece, along with a similar share of the C-130 aircraft fuselage.

The Greek production line for the F-16 parts is staffed by 100 EAB workers, who will grow to 170 this fall after the implementation of the hiring program the state has approved and the new administration of the state company will carry out.

Nevertheless, there are some significant shortages of skilled staff, so EAB has agreed to the outsourcing of some work to a small group of external expert workers, as it seeks the extension of its deal with the US company. Following EAB’s demand, Lockheed Martin agreed to hire 15 Greek skilled workers instead of the foreigners it had picked in order to accelerate the production of the aircraft parts until the new permanent hirings are made.

However, over the last few days a small groups of unionists have prevented the entry of the 15 temporary workers the US firm has hired, claiming hirings must be made directly by EAB. Notably, among the 15 skilled workers there are even some former EAB employees.

Sources tell Kathimerini the company managers were about to take legal action to protect the operation of EAB late yesterday and ensure the unhindered access of all employees to its facilities.

These incidents come at a time when EAB is trying to increase its output and land new contracts as well as attract a strategic investor with a minority stake in the EAB group, in order to further safeguard its financial stability and performance.