Miners Matter

 
 

it gets worse...

Of all of Bakala’s deeds, none is so loathsome and detestable as cheating blue collar Czech miners out of their homes. When Bakala bought OKD, he was compelled to (as part of the deal) promise to sell the miners their housing units at discounted rates. When the company started  failing (due to his shady dealings/excessive dividends), Bakala sold off the housing units to Round Hill Capital, a London-based housing fund, and to the Blackstone Group. These firms are claiming they have no obligation to honor the initial housing contracts promised by Bakala. Thus, thousands of miners are losing their homes.

This housing fund project is a scam of tens of thousands of exploited miners, is connected with possible money-laundering, and is financed by M&T Bank.

The Coalition warns M&T Bank shareholders including Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, Wellington Management Company, Fidelity Investments and JP Morgan Chase that M&T Bank funds a housing fund with tens of thousands of flats in Central Europe, a problematic asset with legal faults and ongoing litigation. These apartments were acquired in the past by non-transparent privatizations associated with corruption. M&T Bank, as a globally recognized banking institution that places emphasis on ethical and moral principles, funds this project through its subsidiary Wilmington Trust.

Our organization is calling on M&T Bank to honor the deal and not to cheat the coal miners. It is unacceptable for these banking institutions to cover for Bakala’s shady dealings. 

Details

Ostrava city in the central Europe - center of industry. A majority of its inhabitants work in coal mines. Hard work, rough region, tough people. When Bakala (under very suspicious circumstances) purchased half of OKD from the state in 2004, Bakala promised that according to the conditions stated in the sales contract, he will let all the tenants buy the housing units from him for the same price that he purchased them for himself.  This means approximately for forty thousand Czech Crowns and for about ten percent of the market price of the time. Instead, he increased the rent to the miners living in OKD flats multiple times which made hundreds of them lose their homes as a result. Subsequently, he sold forty-four thousand flats (that were supposed to belong to the generations of miners for their hard work) to foreign investors. Not only did he break his word doing so, he also broke the law as he failed to keep the conditions of the sales contract. The tenants of the OKD flats took joint action. More than a thousand people are currently pressing charges against Bakala and are supported by the public, politicians and the Czech president. Even the police are currently taking action.