SEPTEMBER 20 2012 21:25h

Workers against lay-offs and bankruptcy procedure in Gredelj

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Croatia
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ZAGREB, Sept 20 (Hina) - Some 600 workers of the Gredelj rolling stock company on Thursday staged a protest rally outside the government's headquarters in St. Mark's Square against plans for lay-offs and the bankruptcy procedure for this company.

The protesters dispersed peacefully after a five-member trade union delegation began talks with Transport Minister Sinisa Hajdas Doncic in his ministry's offices.

The disgruntled workers accused the government of the current situation in this ailing company and criticised it for not helping the company to get jobs on the Croatian market.

They claim that Gredelj could currently carry out business deals in the amount of HRK 150 million, but that the government and the HZ rail operator made it impossible for this company.

There are currently 1,465 people on Gredelj's payroll. The protesters agree that the number of workers should be reduced but they insist that the company should retain 1,100 workers and they are against halving the number of workers.

The trade union in the company is also against the reorganisation of Gredelj which could result in the setting up of two new companies.

Earlier this week, the factory's management filed with the Zagreb Commercial Court a request for the company's bankruptcy procedure which would include its restructuring.

In the first half of 2012, Gredelj's liabilities came to HRK 515 million. In H1 2012, its earnings were HRK 167 million and its expenses HRK 190 million.