The destiny of the 60 or so workers at the Italian shoe factory, Leonardo in Subotica, who were laid off without notice, is still uncertain.
Leonardo’s owner, Antonio Brotini, has contacted the workers but has not given them clear answers as to what will happen with production and whether there will be a return to work soon.
“I have nothing new to tell you. We’re waiting for the owner to decide. He called us on Friday, as promised, but he couldn’t tell us anything in particular. Yesterday we were supposed to talk again, but it hasn’t happened and we are still waiting”, Irena Tenodi, president of Leonardo’s trade union, says.
The workers discovered that they no longer had a job only when one of them went to the doctor. The doctors refused to do a check-up saying that her health insurance expired. The employees at the shoe parts factory then discovered that everyone had been fired on June 5, even though no-one had told them.
According to Tenodi, everyone knew that there were production problems in Italy and Subotica, but they were shocked by the way they were dismissed.
“Everything was done contrary to the law. As of 6th June, we no longer have health or pension insurance. We are abandoned. None of us signed any documents, we received no severance pay, absolutely nothing. We got the March salary, but not the travel expenses and this is the last thing we were paid,” Tenodi adds.
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At the moment, workers are trying to reach an agreement with the management regarding the unpaid wages and other sums of money owed through negotiations. They have a legal deadline of 60 days to file an appeal, while the owner is obliged to pay their wages 30 days after dismissing them. If the owner fails to do so, the workers will take legal action.
“Salaries were paid promptly until January 2020. Then we got the January salary in three instalments. They had also announced a delay in disbursement of salaries for February and we expected the situation to stabilize from March on. However, the epidemic has upset everything and some of the workers, together with the former director, have moved to another company,” the workers reported, adding that the owner owes them a total of 100,000 euro, which is the salaries for April, travel expenses, previous work and the severance pay of 10,000 dinars per year of working for the company.
This post is also available in: Italiano