On February 2014, Hellenic Halyvourgia company announced the shutdown of its unit in Aspropyrgos and the layoff of 90 from a total of 107 workers. However, 74 of those workers left under the company’s voluntary plan. The decision for shutting down its Aspropyrgos unit was followed by numerous meetings between the Minister of Labor and the Supreme Labor Council, which finally decided (by a majority vote of 4 to 3), that only 29 employees will continue to work for the company, instead of 17 that Hellenic Halyvourgia had originally asked for. This accounts for 45 dismissals of the company’s total working force.
It is the first time that a decision of collective dismissals exceeds the statutory limits. However, the authority to approve dismissals has recently been transferred from the Minister of Labor to the Ministry’s General Secretary and the Supreme Labor Council. Halyvourgia’s case is expected to trigger even more companies’ applications for collective dismissals.
Hellenic Halyvourgia representatives stated that the company was forced to operate at night in order to reduce energy costs, which led to a rise in wage rates. As the company’s representatives argued, this scheme was not operational anymore. The company further supported that rivals from abroad, especially Italy, have increased competition, thus leading to a reduction in the company’s revenues.