Bulgarian Syndicates Blast Weapons Behemoth ManagementIndustry | June 13, 2013, Thursday // 17:01| views
Financially troubled arms factory VMZ Sopot has stirred significant social problems in early 2013, when workers went on strike after their wages were not paid for months. Photo by BGNES
The Confederation of Independent and Free Syndicates in Bulgaria, KNSB, is calling for the sacking of the entire management of the country's largest arms factory, VMZ Sopot.
The statement was made before media by KNSB's Deputy Chairman, Valentin Nikiforov, who is also the Head of the factory's strike committee, after a meeting with Economy and Energy Minister Dragomir Stoynev.
Stoynev visited the plant Thursday.
According to the trade unions, workers at VMZ Sopot for over half a year now have listened to empty promises all while their economic situation worsens.
Nikiforov stressed that there is no recovery plan for the factory, adding the trade unions were launching immediate talks with involved parties to find ways to pay overdue salaries ASAP.
KNSB further warn of possible strike, even civil unrest, if the State proves unable to find orders for the plant.
VMZ Sopot has outstanding debt in the amount of BGN 170-180 M and assets in the amount of BGN 118 M, according to the syndicates.
KNSB have proposed to the government to find ways to make possible the void of an outstanding old debt of BGN 30 M, dating from the time of the Socialists Cabinet of Zhan Videnov in the mid-90s.
The trade unions further demand a probe of the ways scrap is leaving the plant and its use, along with a probe in the fire causing losses of work uniforms in the amount of BGN 2.5 M.
The tipoffs about the above have been filed with the Ministry of Economy and Energy and the State Agency for National Security, DANS.
Stoynev told KNSB that a concrete decision about VMZ and its state would be made by the government next Wednesday.
All assets of the State-owned VMZ Sopot have been placed under a mortgage or pledged as collateral of creditors.
The troubled arms factory also faces a bankruptcy lawsuit.
On May 15, Bulgaria's Agency for Privatization and Post-Privatization Control (PPCA) launched a new procedure for the sale of 100% of the factory's capital.
The previous attempt to sell VMZ Sopot collapsed after the sole bidder failed to submit a deposit together with the binding offer.
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