NEWS

OSE staff seek better jobs

Government officials are said to have been besieged by requests from employees of the Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE) seeking to secure transfers to favorable posts in other public sector organizations as a radical restructuring of the loss-making railway network gets under way. Although officials at the Interior Ministry did not publicly admit that they were coming under pressure, sources told Kathimerini that written requests for favorable transfers had flooded the ministry and other government offices. Ministry officials said the government aimed to satisfy the preferences of as many of the OSE workers as possible but that procedures would remain transparent. In cases where several candidates have asked to be transferred to the same post, the choice will be made on the basis of set criteria including family situation and years of service completed. Meanwhile the government is awaiting a full list of vacancies in the public sector. Ministries and public companies have been given until today to submit a full list of vacant posts. These posts are to be filled by around 2,700 OSE workers facing transfer. According to the Interior Ministry’s plan, priority will be given to public companies that have requested additional employees due to understaffing. Of the 2,700 OSE employees facing transfer, 1,288 are high school graduates. Most of them will be transferred to administrative posts in state hospitals, schools, offices of the Social Security Foundation (IKA), municipal authorities and ministries. Another 178 of the OSE workers who are university graduates are expected to be transferred to management positions at ministries which have corresponding vacancies. It remains unclear what will become of more than 1,000 track workers, stationmasters and other medium-skilled employees. It appears that most will be transferred to posts as cleaners at schools or hospital porters. Many of these workers are reportedly pressing for jobs as clerks in ministries or guards at schools and universities. To protest the planned transfers, the OSE workers’ union has called a 24-hour strike for Wednesday, December 8. The action will seriously disrupt train services nationwide.