The well-known clothing brand ‘C&A’ announced bankruptcy yesterday. Overnight the C&A workers in Serbia lost their jobs and rights without any notice. Now they are threatening that if they are not paid, they will protest in the streets.
More than one hundred workers, including about 40 single mothers, have lost their jobs. “We don’t know anything. Nobody has contacted us. They just told us that the company has declared bankruptcy. There are over a hundred families left without income and about forty single mothers,” says one of the employees.
“I came back ten days ago from maternity leave, my husband is a football coach and he doesn’t have a secure job. We also have a small child and we have rent to pay. We hope the state will support us and that some kind of solution for us will be found. We hope at least that our salaries will be paid,” said a young woman who works in the company.
C&A Serbia declared bankruptcy after it ‘became the target of organised customs fraud by unknown perpetrators. The perpetrators systematically committed more than 300 fraudulent acts violating the customs regulations of the Republic of Serbia. As a result, the company has decided to close its 14 shops in Serbia and lay off approximately 135 employees. “The situation is very specific and applies only to Serbia. This in no way affects other markets in which C&A operates,” the Düsseldorf-based company said in a press release.
Allegedly, the perpetrator of the fraud is one of the company’s business partners, “as well as other as still unknown persons”. “The perpetrators systematically carried out more than 300 acts of fraudulent imports in the period from 2014 to 2021, misusing the C&A logo, the benefits of the company’s customs status and the authority to represent C&A in Serbia. The fraudulent activities were discovered in October 2021, when C&A was first informed of the fraudulent import by the customs authorities of the Republic of Serbia,” the statement reads.
It is reported that after several months of investigation and despite the fact that C&A does not have to suffer the consequences of this criminal act, “the customs authorities of the Republic of Serbia decided that the company has to pay customs duties on the goods that were declared as part of fraudulent imports”.
This post is also available in: Italiano