Restructuring OTE

…In its restructuring plan, why is it necessary for the Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE) to slash its work force and bring in a slew of younger employees with more specialist skills? Since the year 2000, OTE has witnessed a constant decline in its profits, with net losses of 70 million euros in 2004. The drop in its profitability is due to competition from the mobile telephony sector and from market deregulation, and is unlikely to improve in the near future. As a result, OTE finds itself in a position where it is unable to invest in infrastructure and appears likely to follow the course of ailing state carrier Olympic Airlines. The only expenses of OTE’s that can be reduced are those for personnel – which today stand at around 33 percent of the organization’s income. (It is worth noting that OTE’s European counterparts spend an average of 20 percent of their income on personnel.) It is also worth mentioning that a large proportion of the existing staff at OTE, especially the older employees who have held their posts for years, are technologically ignorant and, therefore, a hinderance to OTE’s modernization… Many will hasten to criticize OTE’s restructuring plan as a neo-liberal adaptation to market demands. They may do so. But they must substantiate their arguments against planned changes to OTE’s work force…

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