PPC workers call off Nov. 5 strike

Workers at Public Power Corporation (PPC) yesterday suspended a decision to go on strike this month after the management of Greece’s biggest electricity producer said it would reconsider a plan to split up the company. «All strike measures are suspended,» Public Power union Genop said in an e-mailed statement today. Workers won’t walk off their jobs on November 5, as previously planned, after management agreed not to take any decisions on the plan to divide up the company in a November 13 board meeting. «Instead, it was agreed there will be six months of discussions and studies on the purpose of restructuring,» the statement said. State-controlled PPC said on October 27 that, as part of a new business plan, it was considering gradually splitting the company into six fully-owned units to comply with European Union rules and become more competitive. The company’s unionized workers oppose the idea amid concern that the new units could be sold to private investors, leading to changes in working conditions. Greece owns 51 percent of PPC; the rest is traded on the Athens Exchange. Genop will meet PPC Chief Executive Officer Takis Athanasopoulos on November 5 to «clear up matters relating to the company’s power-production strategy.» Until then, a threat to call rolling, 48-hour strikes «remains in force,» the union said. PPC yesterday confirmed it will consult with workers for six months regarding any future «restructuring» but said it hasn’t changed plans to announce a new business strategy on November 21. (Bloomberg)