PPC warns of power outages

A strike at Greece’s electricity utility Public Power Corporation (PPC) has disrupted energy production throughout the country and may lead to partial power cuts, the company said yesterday. PPC’s main workers’ union GENOP-PPC has announced a series of rolling strikes to protest planned government pension reforms that would see PPC workers’ pension funds merged with Greece’s main social security fund (IKA). «Due to the (24-hour) strike, six thermoelectric plants with total capacity of 1,250 megawatts are not operational,» PPC said in a statement. «We ask customers to limit electricity use during peak periods. There is, however, currently no significant problem with the high, medium and low-voltage network, and there are no power cuts at the moment.» Greece’s conservative government has announced social security reforms that would see the merger of scores of pension funds into four to six larger entities. Unions say the changes will lead to the loss of benefits. GENOP-PPC workers began three consecutive 24-hour strikes late on Sunday, continuing a series of protests that have seen workers blockade company offices and disrupt board meetings. «Through these strikes, we want to show the government our determination to protect our pension rights, which have been won over 50 years of struggle,» the union said in a statement. The strikes are due to continue at least until Thursday. (Reuters)

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