Galenika workers protest against privatization

Several hundred employees in the state-run pharmaceutical company Galenika staged a protest on Thursday in Belgrade.

Source: Tanjug
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They rallied against possible privatization of the company in front of the Serbian government.

They called on the government to adopt a strategy to make keeping Galenika and having it recover in a majority state ownership possible, to provide guarantees that the rights arising from collective agreements will be honored and to draft a quality social program.

The presidents of Trade Union Nezavisnost Galenika and the Independent Trade Union in the company, Zoran Pantelić and Tamara Lalić, respectively, have submitted their demands to the government and demanded to be received by officials who should decide the fate of the company, over what they called non-transparency and vague reasons for the new extension of Galenika bid deadline.

However, the protesters were not received by anybody in the government.

Lalić told reporters that Galenika could immediately pay back the EUR 85 million loan that it received with a state guarantee if it could collect its claims amounting to EUR 120 million.

Galenika has a workforce of a little under 2,000 and its annual turnover is nearly EUR 800 million.

On May 31, the Ministry of Finance and Economy extended the deadline for bids for the indebted drugmaker Galenika to June 14.

On December 21, 2012, the government decided to launch a process to find a strategic partner for Galenika, and the Ministry of Finance and Economy first invited potential investors to tender their bids on January 15.

The U.S.-based unit of Canada's Valeant Pharmaceuticals International is the sole candidate so far, according to a mid-April release from the ministry.

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