The general secretary of Greece’s Opposition Communist Party of Greece (KKE), Aleka Papariga, has met with representatives of the Heracles Cement plant at the party's headquarters in Perissos and expressed solidarity with those being made redundant following news of the cement plant's permanent closure.
The KKE stated that the sector's trade unions, as well as related sectors, should offer their backing to workers who were laid off, Athens News Agency reported.
Last month, Lafarge's Greek subsidiary Heracles General Cement announced it was closing down its Halkis works permanently, thereby reducing capacity by 2.3Mta. The Halkis works, which had been supplying the domestic market and has been idle since July 2011. The plant officially closed on March 26 2013, putting 236 people out of work. In a statement, Heracles said that it had invited representatives of the employees in a consultation to agree on the procedures for their mass layoffs.
Impairment, redundancy costs and other charges related to the closure are estimated at some EUR57m, but the closure should reduce annual operating costs by around EUR18m. In 2012, Heracles saw turnover decline by 17.8m to EUR228.2m and the loss at the EBITDA level jumped from EUR5.4m to EUR49.3m. The net loss after tax amounted to EUR76.5m, an increase of 37 per cent. The EUR57m closure costs will be charged in 2013.