Business & Technology

Employees steal equipment, forcing factory to close

3 weeks ago

It may sound like science fiction, but it isn’t; it’s a true Romanian story. A factory established by a German company and later sold to a Chinese holding had to be closed because employees stole essential manufacturing equipment and sold it to a scrap metal dealer, reports Adevarul.

This happened in Temesremete/Remetea Mare, Temes/Timiș County. The factory, established in 2016 by the German Heyform Bramsche GmbH, was manufacturing car components for the Volkswagen Group. Things started well, as the whole production line was established based on contracts with the German car manufacturer, which created 200 local jobs. But as Heyform Bramsche entered insolvency, the fate of the Romanian factory became uncertain.

Finally, in September of 2017, the factory, administered through a Romanian company, Enec Automotive SRL, was acquired by Hong Kong-based G&L Automotive Components Holding Limited. So at first glance everything looked alright: the production line was back in business. But out of the blue, just a few months later, in the summer of 2018, the Chinese owners decided to shut down the factory and give employees three compensatory salaries.

Since the employment contract signed at the start of 2018 contained a paragraph stating that in the case of a collective workforce layoff, employees would be entitled to six compensatory salaries, tens of former employees filed a lawsuit against the company, using the court to obtain the promised paycheck.

According to the filing submitted by the company, the owners had shut down the Romanian production line because the contracted components weren’t finalized in time and didn’t match the quality expectations of the contracting party, Automobili Lamborghini.

As it turns out, some of the employees had stolen four casting molds – the property of Automobili Lamborghini – and sold them to a scrap metal dealer, causing damage exceeding €200,000. The investigation is ongoing, as the company has already filed a lawsuit against the thieves.

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