State vows to protect Alisuper workers’ rights

Portugal’s government has vowed to protect the rights of workers of the financially-troubled Alisuper supermarket chain. Over 100 of the chain’s employees are still owed back pay and are living in fear of being forced to pay a million euro loan which they say is no longer their responsibility.

The delicate situation made headlines earlier this year and prompted left-wing political group Bloco de Esquerda to question the government.

The Ministry of Economy answered with guarantees that it would intervene with the “legal and financial means” at its disposal if workers “were not compensated” in the insolvency process currently affecting the N&F subsidiary of Alisuper owners Group Nogueira.

In a nutshell, workers of Alisuper’s previous owner Alicoop added their names to a loan request in 2007 to save the company from going bankrupt.

When the company was taken over by Grupo Nogueira in 2012, the group said that the million euro loan taken out by the workers – who were allegedly “pressured into doing so” by their previous employer – was no longer their responsibility.
But as Grupo Nogueira has filed for insolvency, they fear they may be called to pay the loan.

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