Information is edited extracts from report, Representativeness of the social partners: Gas sector – Greece, produced for EIRO by Anda Stamati, Labour Institute of Greek General Confederation of Labour (INE-GSEE), 31 January, 2008
According to the data available on the three-digit level of classification from the National Statistical Service of Greece (ESYE), only 1,849 people work in sector 40.2 Manufacture of gas; distribution of gaseous fuels through mains, all of whom are male employees. However, data from the personnel department of the Public Gas Corporation (DEPA) shows that the number of employees has been constantly increasing since 1989, rising to 342 in 2006. Their data also shows that 97 women are employed in this sector.
The system of collective bargaining
In Greece no sectoral level agreement exists in the natural gas sector, as there are no sectoral collective employee or employer organisations. Instead only an enterprise collective labour agreement is signed, because in effect only one company and its subsidiaries operate in the sector. This is the Public Gas Corporation (DEPA), which was established in 1988 as a subsidiary totally owned by the then Public Petroleum Corporation S.A. Currently the state owns 65% of the corporation’s shares and the other 35% is owned by another publicly controlled corporation, Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE).
DEPA is responsible for importing, transporting and storing natural gas, as well as operating the National Gas Transmission System. Alongside this, through its three gas transmission subsidiaries in the regions of Attica, Thessaloniki and Thessaly, it owns 51% of the gas supply companies undertaking the enlargement of the urban networks as well as the transmission of gas to the premises of household, commercial and industrial consumers in the above regions. As of December 2006 DEPA employs 342 permanent skilled staff members.The collective bargaining process followed in the case of DEPA is the one defined by Law 1876/1990 on free collective bargaining. Specifically, the collective bargaining process follows these successive steps: The employees’ union (SEDEPA) forms its framework of demands and lodges it with management. Then successive meetings take place between the SEDEPA executive and company management, culminating in the signing of the one-year enterprise-level collective labour agreement (ESSE). The ESSE that is agreed upon and signed by the representatives of both sides (enterprise and employees) enters into effect on the date that it is submitted to the Labour Inspectorate of Athens Prefecture.
The ESSE covers the workforce as a whole (not only those who are members of the SEDEPA). The most recent ESSE was signed in 2006 which provided an increase of 4.2% to salaries. For 2007 it is agreed (but it has not been published officially yet) by the two sides that the wages’ increase for the whole of 2007 will be 4.9% (backdated). Trade union
There is one union active in DEPA, the Union of DEPA Employees – SEDEPA, which is party to an enterprise-level agreement. All employees are members of this union although union membership is voluntary.
Formulation and implementation of sector-specific public policies
There are no industry-wide employers’ or employees’ unions in Greece in the natural gas sector. SEDEPA hasn’t been involved in any potential form of tripartite formulation or implementation of sector specific policies.
Statutory regulations of representativeness
The unions that make up SEDEPA represent specific classes of occupations and geographical areas. The members of its executive come from specific political and union factions that are directly linked with the country’s main political parties.