Agents of the UDEF (Economic and Fiscal Crime Unit) of the National Police have just entered the Alcoa company headquarters in La Coruña and Avilés to request documentation in the framework of the investigation carried out by the National Court for alleged irregularities in the sale of both plants.
The judge of the National Court María Tardón admitted the complaint filed by the trade union group Confederación de Cuadros y Profesionales (CCP) against Alcoa and eighteen other natural and legal persons for these alleged irregularities. In a car known last December, he followed up on the brief presented by the union for alleged crimes of aggravated fraud, punishable insolvency, misappropriation, against the safety of workers and belonging to a criminal group.
In that same car, Tardón officiated at the UDEF to be in charge of the investigation into the sale of the company. The action currently being carried out by the researchers in the Grela industrial estate in Avilés is apparently part of these investigations.
The complaint was directed against ten individuals and nine legal entities, among which are Alcoa Inespal, Alu Ibérica AVL, Alu Ibérica LC SL, Parter Capital Group and Grupo Industrial Riesgo. Likewise, “taking into account the lack of clarity and specificity noted in the complaint,” the judge asked the UDEF to inform it about the beneficial ownership of Alu Ibérica LC and ALU Ibérica AVL, their partners, administration and representation bodies , capital stock and financial situation, among other extremes.
In 2019, Alcoa sold its plants in Avilés (Asturias) and La Coruña (Galicia) to the Swiss investment fund Parter Capital, after a long process that began at the end of 2018 when the American multinational announced its intention to close both factories. The company then justified its decision given the high costs of electricity in Spain, the need to make heavy investments and the difficult situation in the aluminum markets. However, Parter Capital did not take long to divest itself of the two Alcoa plants, which were acquired by Grupo Industrial Riesgo already under the name Alu Ibérica.
According to the CCP, which puts the number of workers employed at the La Coruña and Avilés centers at 688, Alcoa would have deceived the unions within the framework of the collective dismissal negotiation, which began at the end of 2018. With this, the complaint continues , sought “to avoid paying their business responsibilities with the workers, leading to the insolvency of the productive units, for their profitable transmission to third parties.”
The letter, to which Efe had access, relates the sale process and concludes that “the defendants have led to the ownership of the two factories ending up in the hands of shell companies without the capacity to carry out the business plan, nor the of the payment of salaries, nor of investment, thereby frustrating the final objective of the negotiation, the safeguarding of jobs.
At the same time, he adds, the contracting clauses would have been breached, which would determine the release of Alcoa from the obligation to invest – in the agreement it assumed a disbursement of 95 million dollars payable in 21 months from the sale, for the maintenance of the workforce (approximate salary cost of about 42.5 million euros per year). In the opinion of the complainants, “the first thing Alcoa does” is to block an investment of 20 million dollars per plant, registering it notarially, “which stopped investments and the payment of salaries, social security payments and contributions to insurance plans. workers’ pensions, who remained attached to the company ”. Finally, they recall that the plant workers are unemployed and the training to which they were committed has not been given either.
The magistrate refers in her resolution to the sentence handed down last September by the Superior Court of Justice of Galicia, which declared void the collective dismissal executed by Alcoa in the San Cibrao factory (Lugo), the only primary aluminum plant that remains in Spain, and condemned the multinational to reinstate the 524 affected workers, appreciating bad faith.