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Hellenic Petroleum Productivity Must Be Raised, Minister Says

Employees at Hellenic Petroleum SA (ELPE), Greece’s largest refiner, work fewer hours and earn more money than staffers at competing refineries in Greece and in western Europe, Deputy Energy Minister Yiannis Maniatis said.

The company’s employees work 19 percent and 8 percent fewer hours respectively than workers at other oil refiners in Greece and western Europe, Maniatis told lawmakers in Athens today according to an e-mailed transcript of his remarks from the Environment, Energy and Climate Change Ministry.

Hellenic Petroleum wages are from 13 percent to 49 percent higher than salaries earned at German and Dutch refineries and 48 percent to 62 percent more than wage levels at Italian and Spanish refineries, he said.

An average yearly salary at the company in 2009 was 65,538 euros ($92,800) which rises to 85,424 euros after employer contributions and medical and social benefits are included, according to Maniatis.

Productivity must be raised to a level necessary to ensure competitiveness with similar companies in Greece and abroad given adverse market conditions that have hit sales, he said.

A Greek court ruled illegal on May 5 a 10-day strike planned by workers at Hellenic Petroleum after talks with management on a new labor agreement and staffing levels failed.

Greece has a combined direct and indirect stake of just under 35.5 percent in Hellenic Petroleum, according to Bloomberg data.

To contact the reporter on this story: Paul Tugwell in Athens at ptugwell1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Angela Cullen at acullen8@bloomberg.net

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