Bankruptcy Trial for Troubled Bulgarian Military Plant Postponed
The Plovdiv District Court has postponed the bankruptcy trial for Bulgaria's ailing state-owned military plant VMZ Sopot.
In a Monday closed-door session, the Plovdiv-based court scheduled the next hearing for February 18 to allow the defendant and the court authorities to gather evidence, according to the reports of the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency (BTA).
The bankruptcy proceedings were commenced by Mechanical Plant-Devin AD and on Monday the court allowed First Investment Bank AD to step in as a second creditor.
The Sopot-based arms manufacturer owes over BGN 2.5 for ammunition parts to Mechanical Plant-Devin AD.
On January 14, the privatization of VMZ Sopot was terminated after the sole bidder, Sofia-based EMKO EOOD, failed to submit a mandatory deposit for participating in the procedure.
Talks are currently underway over the extent of staff cuts at the military plant.
Under the rehabilitation program for VMZ Sopot, some 900 workers are to be dismissed, while the trade union representatives at the plant insist on a limit of 500 layoffs.
Earlier on Monday, around 150 – 200 students of the Vcational High School Gen. Vladimir Zaimov and other local schools gathered in front of the gates of the plant, some of them trying to climb over the gates and break in through the closed doors of arms manufacturer.
The children insisted that the workers be paid their long overdue salaries and called on the institutions to not leave their parents on the streets.
The rally was supported by pensioners, former colleagues of the VMZ workers, and other residents of Sopot.
The state-owned military plant has a total headcount of 3100 and debts exceeding BGN 150 M.
Workers at VMZ Sopot have been staging protests and strikes over unpaid salaries and job insecurity since December.