Strike by refinery workers could cause fuel shortage

Workers at Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE), which controls three of Greece?s four oil refineries, entered the second day of a planned 10-day strike on Monday amid fears that their action could lead to a fuel shortage.

The employees are protesting staffing levels, the failure of management to sign a collective contract and the reduction of their wages.

Management says that ELPE workers, who receive 17.5 monthly salaries, are being paid too much in relation to their productivity levels and that this needs to change.

ELPE controls refineries in Thessaloniki, Aspropyrgos and Elefsina, which supply more than 60 percent of the country?s fuel. The strike leaves just one refinery, which is owned by Motor Oil in operation.

Industry experts said that gas stations should have enough fuel in reserve to overcome the shortages caused by the strike but there are fears that it could run out if drivers panic and rush to fill up their cars.

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