Employers in Southern Bulgaria to Welcome Axed Staff of Troubled Military Plant
Labor Minister Totyu Mladenov has said that a total of 225 employers in the Plovdiv district have declared their readiness to fill 400 vacancies with laid-off workers of state-owned military plant VMZ Sopot.
In a Tuesday interview for bTV, Mladenov explained that the extent of job cuts at VMZ Sopot was still unclear, adding that many workers at the plant would probably switch to a 4-hour workday schedule.
Meanwhile, Economy and Energy Minister Delyan Dobrev, as cited by investor.bg, informed that the process of seeking opportunities to redirect laid-off workers of VMZ Sopot was yet to start.
He emphasized that the extent of the layoffs and the number of vacancies would not be clear on the very next day.
According to recent reports, VMZ Sopot has run up debts of over BGN 180 M.
Bulgaria's prosecuting authority is currently conducting an embezzlement probe at the state-owned arms manufacturer on a tip-off of the trade unions.
Ivan Stoenchev, current CEO of the plant, will keep his job for the time being, and will have to adopt urgent measures for rehabilitation of the ailing arms maker.
On Friday, around four million leva were transferred to VMZ Sopot to cover unpaid salaries of the workers.
Prime Minister Boyko Borisov assured that the workers would receive the entire amount of their overdue pay.
Two weeks ago, the privatization procedure for the plant fell through, after the only bidder failed to submit a mandatory deposit alongside the bid.
The center-right GERB cabinet, led by Bulgarian PM Boyko Borisov, has claimed that only a significant layoff, to be followed by privatization, can salvage the plant.