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Beerworkers Archive


Post date: 05/19/2014 - 18:19

The deadline has now expired: AmBev workers threaten to respond with national strike during the World Cup in Brazil

One of the sponsors of the World Cup, AmBev refuses to negotiate nationally with the professional category. The representative entity of over 32 thousand AmBev workers in Brazil recommends the suspension of all local negotiations.

In the absence of a response from AmBev to engage in negotiations at national level with the Confederação Nacional dos Trabalhadores nas Indústrias de Alimentação e Afins-CNTA Afins (the Food Industry Workers' National Confederation of Brazil), the entity recommended all labor unions of the beverage sector on May 8 to suspend local negotiations throughout the country.

One of the sponsors of the World Cup, AmBev refuses to negotiate nationally with the professional category. The representative entity of over 32 thousand AmBev workers in Brazil recommends the suspension of all local negotiations.

In the absence of a response from AmBev to engage in negotiations at national level with the Confederação Nacional dos Trabalhadores nas Indústrias de Alimentação e Afins-CNTA Afins (the Food Industry Workers' National Confederation of Brazil), the entity recommended all labor unions of the beverage sector on May 8 to suspend local negotiations throughout the country.

From now on, the national workers' list of demands, which includes a national wage floor of R$ 1.500,00 (around US$ 700), will focus on the ongoing collective bargaining negotiation of Manaus, capital city of the state of Amazonas in the North Region of Brazil. Workers of the subsidiary of AmBev in Manaus approved on May 8 a strike, suggesting the possibility of a work stoppage on May 14 if the company does not fulfill the new demands.

During the meeting attended by CNTA Afins on May 7 hosted by Sindicato dos Trabalhadores nas Indústrias de Bebidas em Geral de Manaus –Stibam (All Beverages Industry Workers’ Union of Manaus), workers voted in favor of a new list of demands for the beverage sector workers: salary adjustment with actual increase of 10% over the salaries that were already adjusted in May 2014, overtime pay increase of 100% (Monday to Saturday) and of 120% (Sundays and holidays), additional payment of 50% for night shifts in reference to ordinary day shifts payment, implementation of the Participação nos Lucros e Resultados program (a Brazilian Profit-Sharing plan), employee's safety and health risk premiums, and others points. If met, these and other demands would benefit around one thousand workers in that region.

According to the president of CNTA Afins, Artur Bueno de Camargo, the hardship endured by workers in that part of the country is a reflection of a problem faced by approximately 32 thousand AmBev workers all over Brazil. Since March, CNTA Afins has been trying to open a national-level negotiation with the main World Cup sponsor, which has resisted so far. In parallel to the attempt of negotiating working conditions, CNTA Afins has been discussing with Confederação Nacional da Indústria-CNI (National Confederation of Industry) measures to prevent and combat work-related accidents within the beverage sector. According to data provided by the Brazilian Ministry of Social Insurance (Ministério da Previdência Social-MPAS), between the years 2010 and 2012, 16,848 thousand accidents and 42 deaths within the sector were reported.

“This kind of difficulty has been expected. Since AmBev does not want to negotiate at national level, the local demands of workers aren't fulfilled and, as a result, workers end up getting vexed. Once these new demands are fulfilled, the aim is to have the same benefits applied in the plants of AmBev where they are currently not applied, and that would result in the fulfillment of national-level demands reached by local negotiation”, says Bueno. “A national strike and a boycott of the products and brands of the company are not discarded”, he concludes.