The Slovakian company ZOS Trnava has transferred 100% of the capital and property of the rail vehicle factory Gosa from Smederevska Palanka to the company Lisnart Holdings Limited, headquartered in Cyprus, Politika writes.
The Slovakian director of Gosa, Ivan Heimschild, said that the sale is the only solution, as ZOS Trnava was no longer able to finance the Serbian company.
– Gosa was financed in a long term by its shareholders, that is, ZOS Trnava. Unfortunately, we couldn't deal with the contracted jobs, we didn't honor the deadlines, we did our job poorly. Demands in the Balkans are too small for us to be able to cover the staff costs – Heimschild said.
Heimschild called the workers' strike and the confiscation of 11 rail cars acts of blackmail and said he would not not accept it, Beta reports.
– I have the precise data. For the past six years, we've paid 77.5% of the salaries on average. The management of the company mostly consists of Serbian managers and no one has expressed dissatisfaction over this so far – he said for the Slovakian newspaper Dennik N.
As Politika writes, the Slovakians filed the data change request to the Business Registers Agency on March 29, the transaction was registered on Monday, and the workers were notified of it on Tuesday morning. Ljubomir Savic, president of the Independence union at the Smederevska Palanka factory, says that Heimschild notified them of the sale by phone on Tuesday morning.
– We expect that new owners might appear on Wednesday, although the director general remains the same, as this is a Slovakian company headquartered in Cyprus. It is only after the talks that we will, we hope, find out how the company was sold. We have yet to receive the sales and purchase contract, the only document showing whether the factory was sold along with its debts towards the state and the employees – Savic says.
ZOS Trnava owes around EUR 4 million in taxes and employee contributions to Serbia alone. The Slovakian company owes around EUR 1.8 million in salaries to the employees, whereas more than a million euros is owed to providers, Politika says.
So far, no representative of the Slovakian company has started negotiations with the workers, who have been on strike for a week. The strike continues and around 220 workers are not giving up on having their rights honored – payment of late salaries with contributions, health insurance card extension and regular salaries.
The unions claim that 15 to 20 salaries are owed, as well as that years of service contributions have not been paid since 2014, and that the company's account has been blocked since December 2013.
ZOS Trnava bought Gosa in early 2007 at an auction. Gosa was sold at the second bidding at the starting price of RSD 140,44 million.