Dalmacijavino Workers Demand Millions in Unpaid Earnings

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, February 21, 2018 – Workers of the Split-based Dalmacijavino bankrupt wine and beverage producer on Wednesday staged a protest march because they still haven’t been paid 64 million kuna in receivables awarded to them in bankruptcy proceedings.

After they gathered outside the company’s former headquarters, the workers showed their disgruntlement by marching along the city promenade and through the centre toward the Split-Dalmatia County offices and county court building.

“The bankruptcy proceedings launched in May 2012 awarded 552 former workers receivables in the amount of 75 million kuna. The agency ensuring workers’ claims in cases of bankruptcy paid out 11 million kuna, leaving arrears of 64 million kuna which still have not been paid,” Danica Stipović of the Independent Dalmacijavino Union told reporters.

She said that today’s protest was yet one more attempt to call on state institutions, particularly Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, to help these workers.

Presenting the chronology of the case, Stipović said that the bankruptcy administrator (Natalija Mladineo) had decided that more than 60 million kuna, raised by selling off Dalmacijavino’s property, should be paid into the company’s bank account, which was blocked by the state. We consider that the state should write off that amount and that the funds should not all go to the state budget, Stipović said.

A hearing has been scheduled for February 23, she added, to distribute the money collected from selling the company’s property and lying in the Commercial Court’s account. “The bankruptcy judge has informed us that the hearing will be held under police guard,” she added.

Unionist Ivica Blažević said that the union had sent a letter to the prime minister with a proposal that a joint meeting be organised to resolve the workers’ problem, however, no response had been received.

He said that he had recently met with Finance Minister Zdravko Marić and that he told the minister that workers would be satisfied if they were to be paid at least 50% of their claims. “It was politics that created the problem in Dalmacijavino and it would take five minutes for politics to resolve that problem,” Blažević said.

Dalmacijavino was sold to the OSTRC company, owned by Marinko Zadro, at a public auction at the Split Commercial Court in February 2015. The sale of the company, which the new owner bought for slightly more than 70.5 million kuna, was supposed to put an end to its agony given that the auction was the 11th attempt to sell the company.

Zadro is the biggest shareholder of the Virovitica-based Viro Group. The buyer was supposed to pay the entire price and ensure the continuation of production within the next 60 days hence avoid liquidation. “We hope the buyer will continue with production and possibly increase it and hire more workers,” a union representative Lukica Bucat said at the time.

Dalmacijavino was put on sale in August 2013 and the initial asking price was 281 million kuna.


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