Bulgarian PM Backs Layoffs at Faltering Military Plant

Industry | January 15, 2013, Tuesday // 16:01|  views

Bulgarian Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, supports plans for the layoff a large number of workers at the country's faltering military plant amidst escalating tensions there. Photo by BGNES

Hundreds of workers at Bulgaria's State-owned arms manufacturer VMZ Sopot must be laid-off in order for the company to be privatized, Bulgarian Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, says.

According to Borisov, cited by Darik radio, 700-800 employees will have to go because no potential buyer will want to acquire the plant with the current 3 200 ones. He further sees the collective bargaining agreement as a hurdle before the sale of VMZ Sopot.

The PM noted that he had ordered Economy and Energy Minister, Delyan Dobrev, and Social Minister, Totyu Mladenov to find jobs for the said 700-800 people under a social program of Mladenov's institution. He added private military plants employ up to 700 people at the most.

"Otherwise this industry costs tax payers BGN 100 000 a month," Borisov commented.

Representatives of the Podkrepa Labor Confederation and the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria, KNSB, already demanded an immediate meeting with Dobrev to debate how to end the crisis at the plant after the latest privatization attempt failed one day ago.

Tensions among workers are escalating and they are threatening road blockades and coming to rally in the capital Sofia.

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