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Power company workers call strike to protest scrapped discounts

Trade unions representing electric power industry workers agreed on Wednesday to call a strike over government plans to eliminate a special rate at which workers and retirees have been accessing electric power.

The strike will affect only industrial consumers, the unions said at a press conference on Thursday. It will not affect households. Industrial customers will have their electricity shut off in three-hour shifts as power station capacity drops. The unions have objected to paying any more than 37% of the normal tariff for non-employees of power companies, arguing that workers in other sectors all over Europe enjoy similar discounts. They have called a two-hour strike for February 6, to be followed by an eight-hour strike on February 8, and a continuous strike beginning on February 12 if they fail to reach an agreement with the government. The price discounts affect some 20,000 active employees and 45,000 retirees. The discounts translate as an additional Ft 0.20-0.25 per kWh of additional costs for the general public. (Mti-Eco)