OTE reduces wages to cut costs

26 Sep 2011

Greek incumbent telco OTE – controlled jointly by Germany’s Deutsche Telekom (DT) and the Greek government – has signed a three-year wage deal reducing workers’ pay in return for job security, to make savings of EUR160 million (USD215 million) over three years as part of wider efficiency measures. OTE is 40%-owned by DT, which has indicated that it must negotiate a lower wage bill and reduce employees’ rights at the former state monopoly before it buys out the government’s final minority stake and takes full control of the telco, which includes Greek and Balkan mobile group Cosmote. Reuters reports that OTE will temporarily reduce the working week from 40 to 35 hours until 2015, translating into an average 11% pay cut. In exchange, management agreed with trade union OME-OTE not to sack any personnel in the period. ‘In this turbulent period, we succeeded in reaching an agreement on measures that can improve the company’s competitiveness, whilst ensuring its uninterrupted operation,’ OTE’s CEO Michael Tsamaz stated. Tsamaz added that further savings will be needed to achieve a EUR300 million cost-cutting target by 2015.

Greece, Cosmote