It’s been just five months since Galenika ceased to be a state company The new proprietor, Aelius from Luxembourg, owned by the Brazilian EMS Group, took over the Zemun-based pharmaceutical giant in November last year.
The only condition that Elius had to fulfill so far was to pay 25 million EUR and increase the capital of Galenika, which, according to data from the Business Registers Agency, the company did on 1st December last year with a payment of 2.96 billion dinars.
In terms of Galenika’s employees, the state requires that the new proprietor reduced the number of employees from 1,300 to under 900 in less than two years. In early April, however, only 830 employees will remain in Galenika. All, however, are leaving consensually, with compensation.
“We also expect the new owner to invest in production. We are currently in the process of registering new products”, says Zoran Pantelic, the president of the trade union at the company.
“Once the production grows we can talk about higher wages which have not changed in the last seven to eight years. However, the state authorities did not keep their end of the bargain. In October last year, the government adopted a decree according to which it has to pay all of Galenika’s employees back pension and health benefits for a period of eight months in 2013. But they have not done that as yet. This is a big problem because some Galenika’s workers cannot retire and some cannot get compensation for maternity or sick leave because of that”, Pantelic adds.
The new owner of Galenika has decided to close down three departments in Galenika – namely cleaning services, security and restaurants.
“ Elius also offered the workers a compensation for the consensual termination of employment and the workers who agree to this will continue to work for other employer. They will receive 400 euros per year of work for Galenika. Negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement is also incredibly important. The existing one is valid until December, and we will initiate negotiations in the middle of this year”, Pantelic says.
(Vecernje Novosti, 29.03.2018)
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