Arms Maker VMZ Sopot To Cut Staff by 60% – Econ Min

Arms Maker VMZ Sopot To Cut Staff by 60% – Econ Min

Bulgarian state-owned arms manufacturer VMZ Sopot should downsize its staff by some 60% to 1,200 in order to avoid bankruptcy and find a buyer, the country's economy minister said.

On Monday the country's privatisation agency cancelled a procedure for the sale of a 100% stake in VMZ Sopot after the sole candidate buyer, local company Emko, failed to submit a deposit guarantee of 3.0 million euro ($4.0 million).

"The main reason why the investor withdrew is that under the collective labour contract it should obtain the consent of the trade unions to lay off even one worker in the company," Delyan Dobrev said in an interview broadcast by local TV station Nova TV (www.novanews.bg) on Tuesday.

A proposal will be filed with Parliament to remove VMZ Sopot from the list of strategic state-owned companies earmarked for sale whose buyer is required to keep the number of workers unchanged over a certain period, Dobrev added.

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