Cosco extends ‘olive branch’ to Piraeus port workforce days after assuming management

Chinese multinational Cosco’s first overture to employees at the Piraeus Port Authority (OLP), a week after assuming the management of Greece’s biggest and most important port, appeared reassuring.

In a letter to the port’s entire workforce, new OLP managing director Fu Chengqui said the Shanghai-based shipping giant assumes a majority stake and the port’s management as a strategic investor and not as a “profiteer”.

He also said Cosco will respect the workforce and ruled out “unfair” firings, while again reiterating that the state-controlled Chinese company intends to fully apply Greek labor law. Fu said only a few Chinese managers will be stationed at OLP’s facilities.

Two high-profile challenges for Cosco are to maintain workplace calm, and try to establish an understanding with municipalities bordering on the port, given that in the past several mayors have demanded “remittances” from OLP’s operation – especially after the port’s privatization was seen as inevitable.

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