TRADE-UNIONS CLAIM THEIR RIGHTS IN THE SALE OF BULGARTABAC
Bulgartabac Managing Board approved an agreement signed with the trade-unions on how the negative consequences from the restructuring and privatisation of the tobacco holding would be overcome. The document was signed by representatives of the Confederation of Independent Trade-Unions in Bulgaria (CITUB) and the Podkrepa Labour Confederation as well as by the two executive directors of the company, Georgi Kostov and Iliya Kaloferov.The trade-unions consider this agreement their best achievement since the holding's privatisation procedure was initiated. The most important thing is that the idea of Lidiya Shouleva, Vice Premier and Minister of Economy, for establishment of a social fund that would compensate the privatisation consequences has already been implemented. Representatives of the trade-union organisations will take part in the fund's management. According to Nikolay Nenkov, Deputy Chairman of the CITUB, that will help for making the money spending process transparent. The money will cover delayed remuneration to the workers and employees within the system of Bulgartabac which currently amount to almost BGN5MN. Besides, the fund will provide compensations for the layoffs which are expected to be significant. The amount of these compensations will be within one gross salary for each year of labour experience in tobacco companies, but will not exceed 20 gross salaries. Compensations will also be provided in cases of retirement. Workers and employees in the system who have more than 20 years of working experience will be paid 15 salaries. The fund will be financed from the privatisation of the attractive companies. However, the exact amount will be defined depending on the current needs. Everything is ready for the registration of the social fund as a non-profit legal entity, Nikolay Nenkov said.When offers from potential buyers of tobacco companies are examined, their social commitments will be taken into consideration, the agreement also stipulates. Applicants willing to bid for the financially stable subsidiaries of Bulgartabac will be asked to have experience in this branch as well. The newly-signed agreement also stipulates that a new joint labour contract will be signed with a two-year validity term. According to the trade-unions, the longer term (usually this type of contract is signed for one year) will guarantee that the commitments made to workers and employees in the tobacco holding will be observed indeed.