MADRID – Nearly 1,800 employees of a Spanish telecom equipment maker that went bankrupt in 2001 settled with the firm’s U.S. parent company for 35 million euros ($44.22 million).
Sintel was earning some $280 million a year in 1996 when then-state-owned Spanish telecom giant Telefonica sold the company to Miami-based entrepreneur Jorge Mas Canosa, head of the powerful Cuban American National Foundation, who died a year later.
By June 2000, Sintel had accumulated a debt of $68 million. The firm stopped paying salaries and laid off 2,000 employees.
The collapse of Sintel spurred workers to mount a months-long occupation in downtown Madrid.
Though the former employees have settled with MasTech, executives – including two sons of Mas Canosa – could still face a criminal trial in Spain.
Spanish prosecutors have said they will seek jail time for the executives and 296.5 million euros ($374.6 million) in damages for the collapse of Sintel. EFE