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Greece: EIRO CAR on the Changing Business Landscape in the Electricity sector and Industrial Relations in Europe

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For Greece, the past year was a year of great changes as regards the form that the energy market assumed in the country. Greece adopted the 3rd energy package through a legislative initiative and a draft law adopted by the Greek Parliament. Especially as regards this particular matter, GENOP/DEI-KHE, the biggest trade union in the electricity sector, organized a conference and decided to put forward the ITO solution (Independent Transmission Operator) according to the provisions of Directive 2009/72. In addition, a number of governmental decisions on the privatization of public utility corporations have led to turbulences and reactions from GENOP/DEI-KHE which opposes to an eventual further debt-equity swap or concession of PPC’s management (the biggest company for the generation and the provision of electric power in Greece), as well as to an eventual assignment of hydroelectric or lignite-based power production to PPC’s competitors at a cost price.

1. General background information on the energy policy in your country and employment trends

1.1. Please explain briefly the main governmental strategies/action in relation to the electricity production and energy source mix. In your answer, please include information on the following aspects, where possible:

  • Is there an outspoken policy or plan in your country for any kind of change towards an increase or decrease of electricity production with any of the different sources (coal, oil, gas, hydro, eolic, sun, etc.)?
  • Which is the targeted energy mix for the future (see material provided)? How, in which subsequent steps, such targets are expected to be met?
  • Are investments in networks (new connections, upgrade) envisaged? To what extent? With which specific goals?
  • What is the Government stance and what are the ongoing/envisaged action towards generation of electricity from the different broad groups of sources: nuclear /fossile /renewable energy?
  • What are the recent employment trends in the different subsectors of power generation according to the different broad groups of sources: nuclear/fossile/renewable energy? Please indicate development since 2005 with reference to generation, distribution, and sale separately.

According to the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change (YPEKA), Greece’s energy policy aims to create sustainable, competitive and safe energy sources; the country has developed a concise regulatory framework and a market framework for the energy sector. For Greece, the past year was a year of great changes as regards the form that the energy market assumes in the country. Greece has been one of the first countries to adopt the 3rd energy package through a legislative initiative and a draft law adopted by the Greek Parliament. One significant change and initiative, which reinforces the market regulator, the Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE), which protects and supports consumers and which transforms the markets of electricity and natural gas by adopting a model that distinguishes distribution and transmission under a modern method, thus enabling greater liberalization. In addition, there is still a series of governmental decisions that further open the market, decisions on the divestiture of the Public Gas Corporation (DEPA) and the Hellenic Gas Transmission System Operator (DESFA) – which will be further advanced next month through the announcements made by the Privatizations Fund – the divestiture of Hellenic Petroleum SA and, of course, the next steps for the divestiture of the Public Power Corporation, where, of course, the next steps are also associated with the completion of the negotiations with the European Commission for the access of third parties to lignite. This negotiation is based on the sale of lignite units (those in Megalopoli and Amyntaio at the same time with the assignment to a private body of the new reservoir in Vevi) and on the provision of additional power under the swaps method. Once this negotiation is complete, according to their announcements, the government will aim to its implementation, also within the framework of the integrated policy on the divestiture of the Public Power Corporation (PPC), that is the biggest company for the generation and the provision of electric power in Greece, by examining alternative scenarios. One of these scenarios is the creation of a so-called small Public Power Corporation, which will also incorporate other assets of the corporation and which will be assigned to private bodies after an international competition.

Finally, within the framework of the total restructuring of the country’s energy policy, it should be stated that there is a legislative initiative to create a body aiming to put forward the search for carbohydrates and to extract in certain regions of the country, mainly on the west coast. Remarkable is also the completion of the selection procedure from the Shah Deniz consortium, aiming to provide a better path for selling Azeri gas in Europe and to open the southern route.

It should be pointed out that on the other side of this policy lies the intense and constant opposition of the General Federation of Employees at the Public Power Corporation – Electricity Sector (GENOP/DEI-KHE), that is the biggest trade union in the electricity sector in Greece, to the proposed liberalization of the electricity market and, in particular, to an eventual sale of units to private bodies.

According to the Federation, the Greek government will have to respect the agreements (since 2008 & 2009) with the EU and to cede the unused lignite reservoirs (which correspond to approximately 40% of the discovered usable lignite reservoirs of the country) to private bodies, which must, in turn, proceed to the required investments in order to cover the need to cede lignite energy to private bodies. The Federation’s proposal refers to the unused lignite reservoirs in Drama, Elassona, Vehora and Vevi. And it concludes by saying that although the market is liberalized, private bodies are not investing, as they are awaiting the rise of prices in order to respond to competition.

It should also be pointed out that according to GENOP/DEI-KHE, the liberalization of the energy market and the restructuring of the power bills provided in the Memorandum will bring about high increases in the Public Power Corporation’s bills, up to 40%. An indicative example is that the calculations after implementing such a policy over 22 months revealed unprecedented losses for the Public Power Corporation and unprecedented increases for consumers, at the order of 23,4%.

The corporation’s staff also express their opposition to an eventual further securitization or concession of PPC’s management as well as to an eventual concession of hydroelectric or lignite-based generation of electricity to PPC’s competitors at a cost price. This is how GENOP/DEI-KHE assesses the government’s decision on the corporation’s lignite units, that is as a divestiture-sell out that also entails the creation of “small Public Power Corporations”. One could mention that PPC’s segmentation into smaller pieces and their sale to private bodies will signify, inter alia, increases up to 55% in the bills of the household consumers with the lowest consumption, great uncertainty for the provision of electricity at special prices for islanders and for the parents of large families, at least double the remarkably low electricity prices for the farmers. According to a recent announcement of the Federation, this new policy aims to facilitate the sale of the state’s resources with grave consequences on the country’s energy sufficiency and industrial production and on the life of millions of Greeks. Indeed, concerning this issue, PPC has filed an action against the decision with the European Court of Justice (ECJ), the ruling of which is expected around the middle of December.

1.2. Government policy for increase of the share of renewable resources according to the RES directive

  • Are any subsidies being granted for different types of RES for electricity providers? If yes, please provide briefly the details
  • Have subsidies for RES been cut recently? Was this a result of the crisis, of budget constraints, or the result of a policy revision (following a policy assessment, due to a disporportionate use of subsidies, etc.)? Please provide brief details.
  • Are there any other forms of support foreseen for promoting electricity generation of RES?
  • Please include any other aspects you consider to be worth mentioning regarding the state of play and the future prospects of RES in your country.

Greece and the European Union have set basic priorities and binding policies as regards the generation of electricity from renewable sources of energy.

According to the Ministry of Environment, Greece is promoting the use of renewable sources for the production of power through a National Action Plan on Renewable Sources of Energy (NAPRSE), aiming to the safety and differentiation of energy resources, to ensure the protection of the environment and of sustainable development and to strengthen social cohesion. The renewable sources of energy play an increasing key role in Greece’s policy for the generation of power. Today, the generation of power is based on large scale hydroelectric plants managed by PPC. The renewable sources of energy constitute approximately 5% of the generation of electricity if we take out the 5% of hydroelectric plants.

This specific investment framework provides, inter alia, a reduction by 4% of greenhouse gas emissions in fields other than commerce, compared to the 2005 levels. Added to this is a significant increase in the generation of power from wind and solar energy, from small hydroelectric plants, from biomass and geothermal energy. Biofuels are expected to contribute to a remarkable extent as the future fuels of transports. 

In the first semester of 2011, the total installed power of renewable resources hit 2022,2 MW. 75% of the power is generated from wind energy, 11,5% from solar energy, while the remaining 13,5% is generated from biomass and hydroelectric power.

Within the framework of adopting specific development and environmental policies under Act 3851/2010, the Greek government proceeded to an increase of the national goal for the participation of RSE in the final consumption of energy at 20%, which means 40% participation of RSE in the generation of power, 20% in heating-cooling needs and 10% in transports.

In addition, according to the results of the energy models, the national goals for 2020 are expected to be met, based on the official announcements of the Ministry of Environment, through the development of approximately 13300 MW (from approximately 4000 MW today) as regards the generation of power, where all technologies are involved, mostly wind farms of 7500 MW, hydroelectric plants of 3000 MW and solar energy parks of approximately 2500 MW, and through the development of heat pumps, thermal solar systems and biomass applications as regards heating and cooling.

Greece aims to launch the generation of electricity from RSE to 40% of the total generation of power by 2020. 

According to GENOP/DEI-KHE, as regards article 27α “on photovoltaic power stations”, the main remarks focus on the fact that it seems that the licenses granted for photovoltaic parks are not assessed based on equal, transparent and objective criteria. In addition, it seems that the system’s capacity to absorb energy is completely annihilated as a parameter. Moreover, GENOP/ DEI disagrees about the correlation of the remuneration for photovoltaic parks with SLV (System Limit Value).

1.3. Are there any studies and documents assessing the employment impact of energy policies and of prospective changes in the energy mix within the electricity sector? This could include, for instance,

  • Employment effects resulting from the unbundling of activities (production from distribution)
  • Employment effects (on quantity and quality of work) resulting from the possible shifts within the electricity production sector from traditional sources to RES
  • Employment effects from investments in infrastructure (renewal of grids, introduction of smart meter technology, district heating)
  • The need for retraining of workers or provision of new qualifications linked to the sector transformations
  • Possible spatial mobility of workers as a result of more decentralised production (linked both to new activities and to restructuring of existing ones)
  • Please include any other aspects you consider to be worth mentioning regarding prospective impacts on employment and industrial relations

Surveys have been conducted from time to time as regards the energy sector in Greece, its problems and perspectives, as well as its effect on employment, for instance, inter alia, those of:

-“Green Economy, Social Cohesion and Employment”, 2011

-“The Greek Economy and Employment, Annual Report”, 2010 & 2011

-“ Public Interest Companies: Results of 3rd CSF, Modernisation of Public Utility Enterprises and Services: between competitiveness and public interest”, 2009

  • The Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (ΙΟΒΕ):

-“Long-term Energy Perspectives: The Challenges for the Energy Sector in Greece by 2050”, carried out in cooperation with the Laboratory of Energy – Economy – Environment of the National Metsovian Polytechnic (EMP), July 2011.

-“A Model for Economy – Energy – Environment”

Survey for the Regulatory Authority for Energy

-“The renewable sources of energy as a choice for energy and industry”

  • Survey for PPC SA

-“The electricity sector in Greece: problems and perspectives”

  • Survey for PPC SA
  • The Institute of Energy for Southeast Europe (IENE):

-“Pioneering Energy Technologies: The Situation Today & Perspectives for Development in Greece”, 2009

- “The crucial role of Transports in the field of Energy”, July 2009

-“A New Ground for the Market of Electricity in Greece, Organization and Operation of the Market of Energy and Natural Gas in Greece”, 2009

etc.

1.4 To what extent are the social partners involved or consulted concerning the governmental energy policy, notably in relation to employment impacts? Has this happened on an ad-hoc basis or on a structural, permanent basis? Is there a special tripartite social dialogue body for such consultations? Did consultation take place at national level, at sector level, or at the initiative of individual companies? Please briefly provide details.

The Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change submits to public consultation the plans presented from time to time in Ministerial Decisions regarding energy policy in the country.

In addition, the Economic and Social Committee (OKE), which is based on the distinction between three representative groups of interests (employers, employees and various interests groups, like liberal professionals, Local Government etc), promotes social dialogue and through it, the creation (if possible) of commonly accepted positions on issues that regard the society in general or specific parts of it.

2. Composition, structure and employment trends for the different resources used for electricity production

2.1 Please give an overview of the current sectoral composition of electricity production in your country, by giving for each of these seven groups of energy sources, the NAME of the three largest producing, the NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES of these companies, and the public or private STATUS of the EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSHIP with their employees.

For all companies listed, as a summary, please indicate:

  1. Total production and its distribution across different energy sources
  2. Total employment and its distribution across different energy sources
  3. Production plants and their respective energy source(s)
Electricity production

Electricity production with

TOP 3

PRODUCING COMPANIES

(the largest 3 in market share)

NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES

Reference year for the number of employees

Private/Public STATUS of WORKERS

FOSSIL FUELS

1) PPC

In 2009, the total installed capacity of PPC generation plants was 12,800 MW, representing 84% of the country's total installed capacity. PPC Group of Companies' turnover for 2010 was € 5,811 million, while profit after taxes was € 557 million. At the end of 2010, PPC employed more than 21,800 people.Through its wholly-owned subsidiary PPC Renewables (PPCR), with a current installed capacity of 123 MW as well as a portfolio of 150 MW of projects under development, and a significant pipeline of new projects, PPC Group is seeking to secure a leading position in the RES sector in Greece through the development of a total capacity in excess of 1,000 MW by 2015 and total investments in excess of EUR 2 billion for the period.

21.845

2010

Mixed (51% state owned)

2) ELPEDISON

Elpedison Power SA is a company active in the field of electric power generation, where Hellenic Petroleum SA and Edison SpA participate, while Ellaktor Group participates in the construction of the plants. Since 2005, it manages the 390 MW power plant of natural gas combined cycle, in Thessaloniki. Moreover, ever since December 2010, it also manages the 420 MW plant of natural gas combined cycle, in Thisvi Voiotias. ELPEDISON Power has produced so far in 2011, through its two privately-owned Plants, at Thisvi and Thessaloniki, 3.2 million MWhs, which correspond to the 10% of the total production of the thermal and hydro units of the interconnected system. 

200 *according to web sources

2011

Private

3) PROTERGIA was formed after the acquisition of the 50,01% owned by Endesa in the joint venture Endesa Hellas from Mytilineos Group.

The Energy portfolio:

Thermal units of 1,2 GW operating until 2011. 444 MW CCGT – Combined Cycle Power Plant with combustible natural gas, of “Protergia SA”, at the Energy Center of Agios Nikolaos in Voiotia. 334 MW CHP –Electricity / Heat Cogeneration Plant (CHP) with combustible natural gas, of “Aluminium SA”, at the Energy Center of Agios Nikolaos in Voiotia. 436 MW CCGT – Combined Cycle power plant with combustible natural gas, of “Korinthos Power SA”, in Agioi Theodoroi, Korinthia. RSE Plants, 500 MW, operating until 2015. Electric Power Marketing Licence for 310 MW. Marketing platform for CO2 emissions. Supply of Natural Gas.

-------------------------------------------

4) HERON operates in the sectors of electric energy production and supply since 2004 through HERON THERMOELECTRIC S.A. (HERON I) and HERON THERMOELECTRIC STATION OF VIOTIA S.A. (HERON II), respectively.Both Companies are hold by two complementary shareholders (GEK-TERNA Group & GDF-Suez Group). The total installed capacity of Heron companies is currently 582 MWe.The first station (HERON I), with a total installed capacity of 147 MWe, consists of three (3) gas turbines of 49 MWe each. The second station (HERON ΙΙ), with a total installed capacity of 435 MWe.

2.700 total number of employees at Mytilineos Group

No available data

2011

--

Private (100% owned by Mytilineos Group)

Private

NUCLEAR

n.a.

     
       
       
HYDRO

n.a.

     
       
       
WIND

n.a.

     
       
       
BIOMASS

n.a.

     
       
       
PHOTO-VOLTAIC

n.a.

     
       
       

2.2 Please provide an overview of the current oganisation of electricity distribution in your country. Is there a single distributing company/body? Are there multiple companies? At national or territorial level?

The Public Power Corporation SA (PPC) is the biggest company for the generation and the provision of electricity in Greece, counting more than 7,5 million clients. It owns the National Electric Power Transmission System and the Distribution networks. PPC has a quite extensive infrastructure in lignite mines and in facilities for the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity. In addition, it is one of the biggest industrial corporations in terms of fixed assets, while, as a public utility company, it is a leader in the field of electric power in Greece.

In 2009, the installed power of PPC’s generation units amounted to 12.800 MW, covering 84% of the total installed power of the country. In 2010, the turnover of PPC Group hit 5.811 million EUR and the after-tax profits amounted to 557 million EUR. Around the end of 2010, PPC’s personnel exceeded 21.800 employees.

Through "PPC Renewables" (PPCR), an affiliate owned by 100% by PPC, with an installed power of 123 MW, with a portfolio of projects under development of a power of 150W and a significant number of new projects, PPC Group aims to develop projects exceeding 1.000 MW in power, with total investments exceeding 2 billion EUR by 2015.

PPC SA was founded 60 years ago, in 1950, and it has been registered in the Stock Exchange Market of Athens and London since 12.12.2001.

2.3 Please indicate the NAME of the three largest distributing companies, the NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES of these companies, and the public or private STATUS of the EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSHIP with their employees.

Distribution companies
 

TOP 3

DISTRIBUTING COMPANIES

(the largest 3 in market share)

NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES

Reference year for the number of employees

Private/Public STATUS of WORKERS

Distribution GRID

1) PPC

21.845

2011

Mixed (51% state owned)

2) ENERGA is an energy specialized company established in 1994. Its m ain activities include: Electricity trading (import – export – supply). Electricity production from renewable energy resources and participation in production process from conventional energy resources. Emissions trading, Natural gas trading, Energy Saving for Buildings Exclusive agency of BROAD AIR CONDITIONING company in Greece (air conditions operating with natural gas for 175 – 23.000 kW).Since June 2011 ENERGA is the owner (100%) of POWER SHARE S.A., a Greek electric power trading and supply company with a supply license 50 MW for 20 years.

135

2011

Private

       

2.4. Where there any significant developments/changes since 2008 for a specific company or source of electricity production in numbers of employees or in their public/private status? Was this due to the current economic crisis? Were there any instances of unbundling or mergers? With what consequences in terms of employment and industrial relations?

According to mass media publications, splitting PPC in two and creating a new “small PPC” that will be put up for sale is the new scenario examined by the government within the framework of the privatization programme. At the same time, the government is promoting the sale of separate units in order to give access to lignite power generation to private bodies, along with a plan to restructure the staff by reducing the number of excess administrative employees and by reinforcing the manpower of mines and production units. This new policy is the outcome of the financial crisis and of the instructions of the country’s creditors.

 The scenarios examined by the government regarding the divestiture of PPC, which will take place as planned in 2012, are as follows: 1) Selling 17% of PPC’s share capital to a strategic investor. 2) Selling PPC’s affiliates for the transmission and distribution of electric power entirely or selling part of their share capital. 3) Creating a new “small PPC” that will be composed of power generation units representative of the mixture of fuels that the corporation has today. The new “small PPC” will be put up for sale as a whole, while the old mother company could remain under state control at a percentage of 51%.

Apart from these plans, the negotiations with the EU and the Troika regarding the opening of lignite production to private bodies are expected to come to an end in the near future; this fact will lead to the sale of PPC’s units like those in Amyntaio and Megalopoli, the assignment of power exchange contracts and the completion of the competition to assign the rights to exploit the lignite mine of Vevi to a private body.

As regards PPC’s staff, the government is now officially opening an issue for the reduction of the “excess” staff at PPC, which employs 21.845 persons. The plan will aim to tackle at the same time with staff shortages at plants and mines and with the excess staff in administrative departments.

According to publications, the proposal will include a plan of voluntary reassignments of employees, which will be asked to abandon their administrative positions in order to work in the production sector, while any excess staff in the administration section will be transferred to a labor reserve, the next step being dismissal – in case they are not absorbed. Within the same framework, the plan decomposing the established employment rights in PPC will include a new round regarding forfeiture of remunerations (overtime work, bonuses, relation to productivity etc.).

3. Industrial relations in the electricity sector: Actors

4. Please provide details on the membership in the electricity sector and membership of the top 3 producing and distributing companies in employer’s organisation (see questions 2.1-2.3 above). Please provide information on the name of the trade unions organising in this subsector and the level of their membership, or otherwise provide overall data but please include indications on differences in membership densities across subsectors.

Trade union representation and Membership to employers’ organisation

Electricity production with

TOP 3

PRODUCING COMPANIES

(largest 3 in market share)

Membership to employers organisation

(indicate the name of the relevant employers organisation)

Trade union presence per sub-sector

(indicate the name of trade union(s) and the level of their membership in this subsector companies)

FOSSIL FUELS

1) PPC

Hellenic Electricity Association (HELAS)

GENOP/DEI-KHE

2) ELPEDISON

Hellenic Association of Independent Power Producers (ESAI)

3) PROTERGIA

Hellenic Association of Independent Power Producers

NUCLEAR

-

   
   
   
HYDRO

PPC

Hellenic Electricity Association (HELAS)

 
   
   
WIND

PPC Renewables

Greek Association of RES Electricity Producers (ESIAPE)

 

Small sized companies at a local level

Hellenic Scientific Association of Wind Energy (ELETAEN)

 

Hellenic Electricity Association (HELAS)

BIOMASS

-

   
   
   
PHOTO-VOLTAIC

PPC Renewables

Association of Energy Producers with Photovoltaic Systems (SPEF)

 
 

Hellenic Association of Photovoltaic Companies (HELAPCO)

 

Solar Energy Industries Association (EBIE)

And in the distributing companies

Distribution GRID

companies

PPC

Hellenic Electricity Association (HELAS)

 
   
   

3.2 To what extent are employees in the different subsectors (fossil/nuclear/RES) covered by trade union representation? Has there been any impact of the crisis on trade union representation?

The extent to which employees in the different subsectors (fossil/nuclear/RES) are covered by trade union representation is about 90%. This has not changed due to the economic crisis.

3.3 Have there been major reorganisations/splits/mergers of trade unions or employers organisations in the sector during the last five years?

No.

3.4. Have new actors (trade unions or employers organisations) been founded in recent years, especially in the newly evolving RES industries? Or is the industry covered by established actors?

No, there are no new actors as far as the trade unions are concerned.

As for the employers’ organizations since the production, transportation and distribution of electrical power was till the beginning of the century the privilege of only PPC, there was no need of having employers’ organizations. Employers’ organizations were founded only in the last few years, after some producers, mostly in RES came on market.

3.5. Have the established sectoral actors (both trade unions and employer organisations) started any initiative to extend their representation to the new emerging parts of the sector? Please describe such initiatives and their results so far.

The former trade Union Genop-Dei became sectoral as Genop/Dei-KHE. However, the extension was till now only formal with no impact in membership extension.

4. Role of collective bargaining and social dialogue

4.1 Please provide information on the structure of collective bargaining in the electricity sector. Please, briefly mention the main characteristics of collective bargaining:

  • At what level are collective agreements within the subsectors of the electricity sector (traditional providers, newly emerging providers) concluded (company, sectoral level and/or inter-sectoral level)? Is there a difference between the producers and the distributors?
  • Estimate the coverage rate of collective bargaining in terms of companies and employees: are there any differences in coverage across different subsectors of electricity production?

Collective agreements are at company level as far as the main provider is concerned. In this case

there is no difference between producers and distributors. As such PPC and PPC Renewables are

bargaining with Genop/Dei-KHE. As for the other companies in the electricity sector are

compling with the agreement between Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV) and Greek General Confederation of Labour (GSEE). The company level bargaining between

PPC and Genop/Dei-KHE affects more than 80% of the employers in the electricity sector.

4.2 Please comment on the most recent collective agreements reached at sector level and at company level. Please address the following topics:

  • Pay and working time: level and trends relative to the national average and significant differences across subsectors of the electricity industry.

According to the latest collective employment contract between PPC and GENOP/DEI-ΚΗΕ, as regards the period 2008-2009, salary increases amounted, in total, to 14,19%, with an increase of 7% for 2008 (3,5% as of February and 3,5% as of September 2008) and of 6,5% for 2009 (3% as of February 2009 and 3,5% as of September 2009). A key provision of the contract was the payment as of 1/1/2009, apart from the increase, of 25 million EUR for lifting distortions and rationalizing special bonuses. The working hours are 8 per day, 40 per week.

At the current stage, following the announcements regarding salary and bonus cuts at the Memorandum’s provisions, no new collective contract has been signed in the corporation.

4.3. Cooperation between the social partners and government

  • Have the government started any social dialogue or social concentration in the electricity sector since 2008? Please illustrate the features and results of any such initiatives.
  • Have bipartite and/or tripartite bodies dealing with specific issues of the electricity industry been created since 2008?
  • Have there been since 2008 any joint initiatives of cooperation between social partners to influence or steer the energy policy developed by the government in your country? Or have such initiatives been taken separately by certain social partner organisations?
  • Have the social partners been involved in the making of the national action plan to reach the 2020 target, or in issues aiming to secure the supply of enough electricity?

According to the respondents, there is still no social dialogue on the proposed policies for energy with the social interlocutors. It should be pointed out, however, that wherever this was the case, the main issue of such joint ventures is to minimize the dominance of the state – owned PPC in the market.

4.4. Please provide information about the views of the trade unions and employer organisations on the main changes regarding employment and working conditions affecting the sector since 2008 and especially on the impact of the current crisis (for instance on employment trends, quality of jobs, working hours, wages, fixed-term employment, part-time, temporary agency work, participation in training, outsourcing, subcontracting etc.).

The collective employment contracts between PPC and the corporate syndicate have been suspended under the implementation of the Memorandum, which provides for legally based cuts imposed on salaries and bonuses and, according to the employees, for less favorable changes in employment relationships. The salaries were reduced by 35% compared to what applied until 2009 (originally by 18% in the beginning of 2010; then, an additional 17% was requested for 2011). Within the same framework, overtime work was cut, along with the journeys outside the place of employment and a series of bonuses. Fixed-term contracts were limited by 50% in 2011 and as of 2012, they will be limited by an additional 10% per year.

5. Commentary

The energy policy can undoubtedly constitute a lever of development in a time of a deep financial crisis. Especially, as labour relations and employment in industry have deteriorated in line with the ecomomic crisis in the country. The liberalization of the market, inter alia, the renewable sources of energy and energy saving, the legislative initiative for the creation of a body that will bring about the search for carbohydrates and extract in specific areas of our country, mainly on the west coast, constitute pillars of the current policy under which the government expects to attract investments and to create perspectives for development. However, it should be pointed out that the proposed energy policy generates reactions from the other side, because, according to the syndicate (GENOP/DEI-ΚΗΕ) of the largest corporation for the production and the distribution of electricity (PPC), this specific policy actually “gives away” the corporation’s lignite plants to private bodies, it doesn’t create any jobs, it doesn’t contribute to the development of the country and it is not to the benefit of consumers. The syndicate would also suggest the concession of the unused lignite reservoirs to private power producers so that they gain access to lignite-based production, so long as they invest in mines and production plants in accordance with the original decision of the EU and the Greek government.

Elena Kousta, Labour Institute of Greek General Confederation of Labour (INE/GSEE)

Page last updated: 15 November, 2012
About this document
  • ID: GR1202029Q
  • Author: Elena Kousta
  • Institution: Labour Institute of the Greek General Conferation of Labour (INE/GSEE)
  • Country: Greece
  • Language: EN
  • Publication date: 15-11-2012
  • Sector: Electrical