The last Belgian locations of the international cash and carry store Makro will close their doors forever on Friday, RTL Info reports. In total, 1,300 employees will lose their jobs.
The Makro group has been teetering on the verge of bankruptcy for many months. Following the legal reorganisation in June, all of the company’s real estate assets were transferred to German rival Metro.
Metro was recently bought out by Dutch retail group Sligro, saving nine out of eleven of the Makro locations and saving 500 jobs.
The majority of workers hired by the company are over the age of 45 and may have worked at the company for decades. Despite this, it is uncertain whether the employees will receive any severance pay from the company.
The Makro company, no longer owning any land or property that could be seized during bankruptcy proceedings to pay for severance packages, has now left its employees in limbo. Stores are closing, but employees are still waiting for the company to file for bankruptcy or liquidation.
Until then, they will not receive their C4 documents to file for unemployment or other benefits. If the company goes into liquidation, then notices will be paid. If Makro goes bankrupt, only part of employees severance packages will be paid.
Despite the difficulties, Marko employees are sad to leave the company. Fabrice had stocked shelves at one of the cash and carry’s locations in Alleur for 20 years before the closure. “I haven't really realised it yet, but it's starting to sink in. There are people we will no longer see. It’s like family, so it hurts,” he said.