The curtain has finally fallen for the supermarket chain Macro. The bankruptcy case was filed on Monday and immediately declared so on Tuesday by the Antwerp Corporation Court. As a result, about 1,400 employees will lose their jobs. “Fortunately, the job market is favorable for these people.”
It’s been eerily quiet around Macro Stores for over a week now. Since the end of December, nearly every branch has been purchased empty and the doors kept permanently closed. Now that it has lost jurisdictional protection against creditors and no proper takeover offer followed, the store went to court on Monday night to put its books in order. And on Tuesday morning, a judge agreed and declared parent company Macro Cash & Carry Belgium bankrupt.
A relief for unions, says ACV’s Kristel Vandamme. There were two options: liquidation or bankruptcy. We ourselves preferred to go into bankruptcy because there is a better follow-up. So we are confident that the two trustees will now take matters into their own hands.”
It is about two lawyers who have been following a macro file for some time.
Read also. The staff bid farewell to Macro in tears: “We went to fight”
However, about 1,400 people are likely to lose their jobs. “Because it is a matter of collective surplus, they are entitled to severance pay. But it is by no means certain that the sale of the Metro branch to Sligro and the recent sale raised enough to properly pay employees,” fears Vandamme.
If this is not the case, the employees should resort to the “Compensation Fund for Layoffs in Case of Company Closing”. But these payments are limited, and former employees can then receive a maximum of €30,000 in severance pay.
It is very extraordinary that so many people in our country are suddenly out of work. But it concerned 1,400 people scattered across the country. “It’s not that there is now a place somewhere in Flanders where the entire labor market is flooded,” says labor market expert Jan Dennis (Randstad). There is also a bright spot for these people: the shortage in the job market. “It is very difficult to suddenly have to look for another job after 30 years or more. But the market itself is rarely as favorable as it is now. I would be surprised if there were no players in the market who would welcome new, good, trained workers with open arms.” Vandamme confirms this. For example, NMBS has already announced that they are interested in new people.
Unlike Macro, a buyer has been found for the metro, so that 506 employees can continue to work. Many branches have even reopened since Tuesday under the name “Sligro M”.