[Documents menu] Documents menu

Date: Mon, 18 Oct 1999 22:31:23 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: (en) Brazilian Steelworkers Organize Strike Festival For Raises And Jobs
From: DAMN <damn@tao.ca>
Article: 79801
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Message-ID: <bulk.28408.19991019091545@chumbly.math.missouri.edu>

Brazilian Steelworkers Organize ‘Strike Festival’ For Raises and Jobs

A-Infos News Service, [18 October 1999]

About 70 thousand steelworkers stopped production of autoparts and 4,333 cars in 15 plants located in the greater São Paulo area, Campinas and Vale do Paraíba with the objective of receiving a salary raise. Employees are trying to force national collective contracts and an inflation increase in the salaries further on. The Military Police followed strikers to maintain order and avoid conflicts and no major confrontation was registered.

Local Strikes, already named Strike Festival, are taking place once a week in different Brazilian states and have even included Volkswagen automaker workers in Resende, interior of Rio de Janeiro and the Fiat factory employees, in Betin, Minas Gerais. Automakers shall not accept all demands but are open to discuss the issue with each plant's employees, including a 10% salary raise and the reduction of shift periods.

Ford workers say they will make a series of protests starting next week if Ford Motor Company fails to negotiate the return of one thousand employees who were dismissed according to the lay-off system, a temporary release from work which is directly related to the plans' production needs. Protestors also claim for profit sharing and smaller working shift periods.

Ford Motor Company considered conceding some benefits for workers but linked the offer to the formal dismissal of laid-off employees who still receive 90% of their salaries. We can even negotiate lay-off prorogation but we will not accept dismissals, said the Greater São Paulo area Steelworkers Union Treasurer, Isawa Tsukassa.

Volkswagen has also been having problems with employees. The company has announced that it may anticipate the release of three thousand retired workers who should only leave the company in 2001. The automaker intends to release all three thousand workers until the end of the year and offer extra benefits for those who accept. The issue shall be discussed with Volkswagen representatives on Wednesday, October 13th, according to Luiz Marinho, President of the Steelworkers Union of the Greater São Paulo area.