EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change

VMZ Sopot

VMZ Sopot

Geographic Location

Country: Bulgaria
Region: Plovdiv; Yuzhen tsentralen; Yuzhna Bulgaria
Location of affected unit(s): Sopot


Sector: Manufacturing
Manufacture of basic metals and fabricated metal products, except machinery and equipment
25.4 - Manufacture of weapons and ammunition
Number Employed: 3700

Employment Effects

Announcement Date: 31-01-2013
Planned Job Reductions min: 600
Planned Job Reductions max: 600
Type of Restructuring: Internal restructuring
Employment Effect Start: 01-02-2013
Foreseen End Date: 31-12-2013
Direct Dismissals: 600

Additional Information

Some 600 workers will be laid off at VMZ Sopot as an agreement has been reached between the trade unions and the company’s management.

The company has suffered troubling financial conditions in the last few years. The employees have not received their payments on time in the past 18 months. Two weeks ago the privatization procedure for the plant fell through, after the only bidder failed to submit a mandatory deposit alongside the bid.

The management insisted on dismissing 900 employees but after negotiations with the unions the number was reduced to 600. Since the beginning of January some 60 employees have voluntarily left the company. The Bulgarian Labour Minister stated that a total of 225 employers in the Plovdiv district have declared their readiness to fill 400 vacancies for redundant workers in private companies.

The state-owned Vazovski Mashinistritelni Zavodi (VMZ) located in town Sopot, employs 3700 workers and is the biggest company of the military and industrial complex in the country. VMZ Sopot produces anti-tank guided and unguided missiles, aviation unguided missiles, artillery ammunition and fuses. It also manufactures civilian products – diamond tools, abrasive discs and grinding wheels, gas cylinders, food industry equipment, and household appliances.