Kuneva probe shifts to cleaning companies
A prosecutor probing an acid attack last December on the 44-year-old general secretary of the Athens association of cleaners and domestic staff has shifted his attention to companies that contract out cleaning jobs, since the results of a preliminary investigation reportedly suggest widespread transgressions in the sector. Prosecutor Yiannis Sakellakos reportedly has ordered police to look into suspected violations of labor and social insurance legislation by certain companies. Constantina Kuneva, who is still in the hospital following the December attack which has disfigured her and damaged some internal organs, allegedly referred to illicit practices by cleaning firms in her recent testimony to police. The police investigation will reportedly focus primarily on a firm called Oikomet, which used to employ Kuneva, as well as on a firm called Oikologiki. Oikomet, based in Piraeus, employs 870 staff and serves 16 major clients, including Public Power Corporation (PPC), the Kifissia-Piraeus electric railway (ISAP) and the Employment Ministry. Police sources yesterday told Kathimerini that oganized crime squad officers would probably join the probe. Some 93 firms are involved in contracting out cleaning jobs to public services and private firms. According to an investigation by Skai and Kathimerini, many of these firms violate legislation, elude inspections and threaten staff – who are mostly immigrants – with dismissal. One allegation being probed by police is that newly employed staff are obliged to sign a document approving their voluntary dismissal.