Workers to Protest Again over Closure of Tobacco Plant in Sofia

Industry | May 9, 2016, Monday // 08:35|  views

A file photo of one of the first protests of Bulgartabac workers on March 31, 2016. Photo: BGNES

Trarade unions with Bulgaria's major tobacco holding Bulgartabac have called for Monday a demonstration against the decision to close down a Sofia-based tobacco plant.

The decision, which was in force as of April 01 and left 420 people without employment, was a result of Bulgartabac's move to halt exports of cigarettes and other products to the Middle East.

Workers will receive their salaries by the end of May. An additional number of jobs offered by Bulgartabac and connected to the plant's work might also be lost as a result of the closure.  

Since the announcement, unions of tobacco workers and growers have been reiterating their calls on Economy Minister Bozhidar Lukarski to step down over his "passive" behaviour in the case. Bulgartabac was privatized earlier in the 2010s, with Lukarski admitting confidential clauses of the agreement prevent the government from knowing the identity of the real owner.

The demonstration will be held in front of the government headquarters in central Sofia.

Bulgartabac says it was forced to halt exports to the Middle East after being targeted by allegations of cigarettes smuggling into Turkey.

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Tags: Bulgartabac, sofia, protest, bozhidar lukarski, tobacco


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