The Hungarian light bulbs and electronics manufacturer Tungsram's bankruptcy negotiations with creditors were unsuccessful, and the company will be liquidated, a Tungsram representative confirmed to the Hungarian news portal Mérce.
Tamás Mehlhoffer, the company's PR and communications director, said that Eximbank, the largest creditor, did not accept Tungsram's debt settlement offer, "and their vote is enough to prevent a bankruptcy settlement." He added that a detailed statement on the developments would be issued on Tuesday.
Gábor Sallai, president of the Independent Trade Union of Tungsram Workers, told the portal that they don't have much experience of what happens next, they have never been in a situation like this before. He said that everyone expected the case to be resolved, given that the previous bankruptcy proceedings had been postponed and that it was a company with a long history.
The union leader said that a meeting with the company's management was expected to take place tomorrow. Tungsram employed 3,000 people in the spring, but now employs only less than 1,000. In addition to the redundancies, many have left the company of their own accord. At the Budapest factory, hundreds of workers had been on downtime for months, working for minimum wage and without shift pay. This year's wage negotiations were also interrupted.
In the spring, shortly after the parliamentary elections, it emerged that there were serious economic problems at Tungsram, which the government considers a strategic partner. The company first announced thousands of redundancies at its plants in several municipalities across the country, and then filed for and received bankruptcy protection in early May.
The company had planned to lay off a total of 1,600 people – group redundancies were announced in two municipalities at the end of April – but by the end of June, this had risen to 1,800. The largest number of redundancies, 700 workers, was planned at the Nagykanizsa plant. The capital city offered 1,000 of the 1,600 people jobs in the spring.
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