ECONOMY

PPC workers walk out in protest at labor reform

ppc-workers-walk-out-in-protest-at-labor-reform

Workers at Public Power Corporation (PPC) launched a two-day strike on Wednesday to protest a draft law aimed at reforming the troubled utility, its largest labor union GENOP said.

The strike came as Greek lawmakers debated a bill that would introduce flexible wage contracts for new hirings, cut discounts on employees’ and pensioners’ electricity bills in place since 1990, and set conditions for voluntary exits.

The union, which represents 18,000 workers, also staged a rally in central Athens to protest the bill.

“Together, we should protect labor rights that have been in place for decades and not allow collective labor agreements to be violated,” GENOP said in a statement.

The walkout, in force since one minute past midnight, is not expected to affect the utility’s operations materially, as power demand has been weak due to warm weather, a PPC unionist said.

Workers also oppose a government plan to shut down all coal-fired plants that PPC operates in the country by 2028 in an effort to help Europe meet its targets for climate change.

PPC, which is 51 percent state-owned, has reported losses since 2018, hurt by carbon emission costs and the impact of a deal between Greece and its official lenders to open up the sector to competition.

[Reuters]