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Brazilian hard line unions win conflict and beat moderates in elections

Friday, February 27th 2015 - 08:22 UTC
Full article 11 comments
In a compromise with the union, GM agreed to furlough 650 workers for five months, with a guarantee they will get their jobs back In a compromise with the union, GM agreed to furlough 650 workers for five months, with a guarantee they will get their jobs back

Workers at a General Motors Co car factory in Brazil ended a six-day strike on Thursday after the company dropped plans to lay off 800 employees, the union said, ending the latest labor standoff in the troubled Brazilian auto industry.

 Later on Thursday the metalworkers union of Sao Jose dos Campos re-elected its leadership by a three-to-one margin, highlighting the appeal of more confrontational union tactics that are gaining steam across the country.

The re-elected leadership, which also organized a strike against aircraft manufacturer Embraer SA last year, credited its hard-line reputation and consistent criticism of President Dilma Rousseff for the decisive win over their opponents, who were backed by a national union with close ties to the ruling Workers Party.

Rousseff's popularity has slumped to an all-time low as the Brazilian economy founders and she pushes to close a federal budget gap with tax increases and stingier pension policies.

The strike at GM followed labor disruptions for the Brazilian operations of Volkswagen and Mercedes Benz as workers revolted at payroll cuts after losing 7% of colleagues in the industry last year.

In a compromise with the union, GM agreed to furlough 650 workers for five months, with a guarantee they will get their jobs back, said the metalworkers' union of Sao Jose dos Campos, 90 kilometers outside Sao Paulo.

Workers brought production to a standstill last week to protest GM's proposal to furlough nearly 800 workers for two months before laying them off in April.

Stoppage days will not be deducted from wages and the company vowed not to retaliate against workers who walked off the job in the longest strike GM has faced in Brazil in the last 12 years, the union said. GM has cut its payrolls at the factory from about 7,500 workers in 2012 to about 5,200 currently.

Categories: Economy, Politics, Brazil.

Top Comments

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  • Brasileiro

    The troubled Brazilian auto industry produced 3.2 million cars in 2014 and the Brazilian market consumed 3.3 million. What makes Brazil the world's fourth largest car market, and that in a year of crisis and recession.

    The problem is not the Brazilian market. The problem is the incompetence of US and European companies.

    Year after year the US industries are losing ground in the Brazilian market, while the eastern companies increase their market share. And this not only in the case of automobiles, as well as in the cases of mobile, computers, appliances, etc.

    The companies that are gaining ground in our market are Brazilian, Chinese and Korean.

    The US decline is visible in all areas of human activity. And while South America is close to them, the decline also hit us.

    We need to move away from the West. That is the only hope.

    Feb 27th, 2015 - 10:33 am 0
  • golfcronie

    You are right the US companies need to move out of Brazil as the Brassies are lazy bastards. If the US companies can't make a profit then why stay. Good luck with that.

    Feb 27th, 2015 - 10:46 am 0
  • Klingon

    @1 Put down the crack pipe you egghead.
    You have the same problem as us, no one wants to work and everyone wants a paycheck just for showing up when they feel like it.
    No company is going to invest with hard line unions controlling the show.
    Brazil is turning into another Venezuela.

    Feb 27th, 2015 - 10:54 am 0
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