The Enciclopèdia Catalana Group offers an ERO to lay off 15 workers

The Enciclopèdia Catalana Group offers an ERO to lay off 15 workers

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The Enciclopèdia Catalana group has filed an employment organization filing (ERO) to dismiss fifteen workers, ACN has learned. The company's workforce currently amounts to more than one hundred workers. The historic publishing house has been facing financial difficulties for some time and therefore aims to overcome them, part of which arose as a result of the operation of the Entredos Logistics Centre.

The company confirmed in a statement that the group has “sufficient assets” to meet its future obligations and ensure its continuity. About two dozen Catalan publishers have filed a lawsuit against Agora – the group's logistics company – over the book distribution crisis and demanded 2.8 million euros.

The company submitted its ERO report on Monday and a month-long negotiation period has now been opened between management and workers. It is expected that there will be new meetings during the next week.

A total of 23 publishers affected by the book distribution crisis decided in November to file a lawsuit against Agora, owned by the Enciclopèdia Catalana Group. The amount claimed is 2.8 million euros, which they attribute to invoice payments for sales of the last four months of 2022, the amount of books that have not been returned to their owners, and the amount of pending orders for the December 2022 service.

The plaintiff publishers and the management of Xarxa de Llibres expressed regret that the company did not provide “any solution or any timeline to resolve the non-payment issue” and return the books they still had at their facilities. For this reason, they have not ruled out further legal action.

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Distribution crisis for months

As of September 2022, the publishing world has linked a series of problems with the distribution of books in Catalonia, especially those written in the Catalan language. The origin of the case began with the merger in August of two reference points in distribution in the state, Punxes and Ágora, which continued to work together under the umbrella of Entredos Logistics, a process that caused delays and prevented the distribution of several volumes.

Some of the publishers affected by this business operation, belonging to the marketing company Xarxa de Llibres, suffered serious consequences, among other things, an apparent drop in sales due to poor distribution of their books during the last four months of 2022. It continued for several months until the affected publishers chose They enlisted the services of another logistics operator, Elkar-ACL, even though this meant moving their stock out of Catalonia.

As the publishers confirmed in a statement seen by ACN, Ágora's management pledged to facilitate the transfer of the publishers' inventory to the new distributor, but stressed that it “breached the timeline, which had a negative impact on the new distributor.” Sant Jordi 2023 Damaged Stamp Campaign. However, according to sources from the publishers themselves, there are still 350,000 copies of books owned by the affected companies in the Agora-Entredos warehouse. In addition, they reported that since January of last year, Agora has stopped paying invoices to affected publishers corresponding to the fall and winter sales of 2022.

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