ECONOMY

Well paid ELPE workers strike over productivity proposal

Workers at Greece?s largest refinery Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE), who rank among the best paid employees in the country, have called strike action over a proposal by management to introduce productivity assessments.

ELPE workers, who receive 17.5 monthly salaries as opposed to the 14 specified by Greek law, have called a ten day strike starting Sunday.

?Workers at ELPE have been paid in the past 10 to 12 years better than European workers and we are proud of this of this. We don?t want to touch their salaries. We want European salaries with European productivity,? said a senior company source.

According to data presented by the company official, who requested anonymity, ELPE workers have been receiving better pay than peers in Germany, Belgium, Holland and Italy in the past decade.

However, productivity levels of ELPE workers is between 30 to 60 percent lower than that seen in other European countries.

ELPE workers were initially given three extra monthly salaries as an incentive to boost productivity, but the amount ended up being given to everyone, regardless of work completed, the source added.

The company?s employees work 38 hours per week, rather than the standard 40 hour week, and 197 days per year.

Peers employed at rival Greek companies work 213 days per year while workers at oil refineries in Spain and Italy work 211 days and 232 day respectively.

In Belgium, Italy, and Germany refinery employees work 244 days per year.