The President of Serbia has broken his promise that he would come to Vranje on 15 September to bring in a new investor who would take in all Geox’s workers following the abrupt closure of its factory.
“See you on 15 September in Vranje, when the destiny of Geox’s workers, who have lost their jobs, will be decided,’ Aleksandar Vucic said in early August during a visit to the Teklas factory in Vladicin Han.
Vucic had then asked the director of the Turkish plant to hire 600 Geox’s workers by the end of the year, out of the 1,200 who worked at the Italian plant until its closure on July 31.
“We will not leave Geox workers without jobs and we will bring an investor to Vranje who will give local workers a job and higher salaries than they had in Geox,” Prime Minister Ana Brnabić also said on the occasion.
She was in Vranje two days before the workers officially learned that the Italian company was closing its factory, but had not said a word about Geox leaving for good. “I have no information about the factory’s,” Brnabic said back then, while President Vucic had confessed at the same time that he “knew for two months that the Italians would be withdrawing from Vranje”.
In the meantime, in order to calm the tense situation, all workers who had lost their jobs were paid a salary of over 50,000 dinars from the state budget. According to unofficial information, 120 were employed by Teklas at their Vladicin Han factory. The announcement that part of the production of cables for the automotive industry, in which the Turkish company is engaged, could be moved to the Geox premises in Vranje still hasn’t materialized.
After the resignation of Teklas’ general manager, Ercan Alinmaz, it is almost certain that if there is any intention to expand production in Vranje.
“Alinmaz is a second manager of the Vladicin Han factory that has left. When he succeeded his predecessor, the whole handover procedure took more than three months. In the current situation it is difficult to expect the Turkish company to take such a major strategic step,” the sources from the company say.
This post is also available in: Italiano