ZAGREB, Sept 11 – Payment of outstanding wages owed to workers at Rijeka’s 3. Maj shipyard started on Wednesday morning after HRK 43 million was deposited in the dock’s account as a first installment of a HRK 150 million loan issued by the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR) in order to enable the continuation of production.
According to the union leader and president of the shipyard’s steering committee, Juraj Soljic, workers began to receive their wages for last December.
Over the next six to eight days all outstanding wages until July will be paid from the first loan installment while wages for August and 15% of claims by creditors, suppliers and subcontractors will be paid from the 2nd loan installment. The remainder will be paid with a two-year delay.
Soljic said that they expect the government to issue a guarantee for the construction of a new ship. It is important that the loan is issued as soon as possible so that material can be procured and construction can begin, he said.
In August the government decided to allow the issuance of a conditional payment guarantee in the amount of HRK 150 million to the Rijeka-based dock for a loan from HBOR or commercial banks setting conditions for production to be relaunched and ships already started or new ships to be built in an effort to reduce budget losses.
One of the conditions set envisaged that 3. Maj would regulate its relations with creditors for them to put their claims on hold until 1 September 2021, that the loan obtained be at market terms, and for an agreement to be reached with the Jadranbrod (HB-J) Shipbuilding Corporation to oversee the completion of ships.
After the conditions were met HBOR okayed the HRK 150 million loan to cover unpaid wages and 15% of claims as well as securing sufficient material for production to continue.