11 foreign companies left Serbia over night

The Turkish factory Jeanci from Serbia is the 11th consecutive company that has left the country almost overnight, informing their workers of their job termination via a text message.  

Unlike the previous foreign “fugitives”, Jeanci did promise to pay owed salaries to workers and help them find new employment.  

The following foreign companies have also left Serbia abruptly:

  1. Bertex Textile (Turkey)

In November 2022, the company closed its factory in Kragujevac and put up for sale the building that housed the factory. Most of the workers were made redundant over the weekend and left the company without severance pay. Information about the departure of Bertex was confirmed by the Kragujevac City Administration, but they do not know why the factory was closed. The local authorities also said that Bertex was a private company and that they had no jurisdiction over it, as well as that none of the workers approached local authorities for help. Some Kragujevac-based media outlets previously reported that Bertex “suddenly decided to leave”, that the workers stopped receiving their salaries back in September, and that they are owed money for transport costs and unused vacation days. A total of 95 workers (mostly women) have lost their job. According to Danas daily, the Turkish company received state subsidies when starting its business in Serbia.

  1. Geox (Italy)

 After five years of operations, the Italian footwear manufacturer, Geox closed its footwear factory in Vranje in 2021, and 1,200 people lost their jobs. Geox opened the factory in Vranje in the winter of 2015 in the presence of the then Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić. The Serbian government subsidized the Italian company with 9,000 euros per worker, and at the request of Geox, the state subsequently allocated additional funds to the company. A rough estimate shows that this cost the Serbian taxpayers between 12 and 14 million euros. During that time, the Geox workers in Vranje, most of whom had considerable experience in the footwear industry, were working in rather inhumane working conditions, were not paid for their overtime and received meager salaries that ranged between 35,000 and 40,000 dinars.

  1. Yura Shinwon (South Korea)

 The Korean company Yura Shinwon terminated the production of automotive parts and all related services in its Niš factory due to a large loss of business. The announcement, pinned on the factory’s noticeboard, did not indicate the number of workers who would lose their jobs. However, the media found out that 264 full-time workers were kept at the factory and 400 of them lost their jobs.

  1. Simit Sarayi (Turkey)

Simit Sarayi, a Turkish bakery chain, closed all its stores in Belgrade after three years of business. The last three shops, which were located in downtown Belgrade, closed at the beginning of last year allegedly due to COVID. A total of 120 people lost their jobs.

  1. Home Plus

In late 2021, the Home Plus retail chain also put the key in the lock of their company in Serbia. The owner left more than 100 workers jobless and still owes over 50 million dinars in liabilities.

  1. Spilit (Russia)

The news that the Russian company Spilit left Serbia and laid off 500 workers from its two factories in the south and north of Serbia went off like a bombshell. A few days after the closing of the factories in Vranje and Sombor, as well as a total of 34 showrooms, there was no sign of the company’s owner Andrei Hodasevich either. However, later, he did promise the workers and customers that he would settle the company’s debt, which he did, but he did not resume production.

  1. Servfood (Germany)

In November 2018, the German fish processing and canning factory, Servfood, left Serbia after only two years of operations. A dozen workers protested in front of the company’s gate, demanding an explanation because, as they claimed, they were informed in a Viber group that the company was closing. Although, when it came to Serbia, the company said that it would create around 300 new jobs, in the two years of its operations in Serbia, Servfood employed only 60 workers.

  1. Handy (Bulgaria)

The Bulgarian mobile phone and equipment chain, Handy, closed its stores all over Serbia in one day, a total of about 200 of them. About 900 workers were informed about the layoffs in an e-mail.

  1. Leonardo (Italy)

Another Italian footwear producer, Leonardo, drew attention when, about a year ago, 60 of its workers found out by accident that they were no longer employed in the company, after one of the workers went to see a doctor and found out they no longer had medical insurance (supposed to be paid by the company). At that point, salaries were already late. However, the factory in Subotica restarted production and re-hired some of the redundant workers.

  1. Gold Exchange (Croatia)

In 2013, the Croatian company Gold Exchange, which deals in the purchase of gold, closed all of its 90 shops in Serbia overnight, leaving 180 employees without their last two salaries. All shops were closed on September 12 of that year, less than a year after the company came to Serbia.

(Blic, 07.07.2023)


This post is also available in: Italiano

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