IUF logo.

Beerworkers Archive


Post date: 02/26/2014 - 21:22

Beer workers in Brazil combat accidents and occupational diseases ahead of World Cup

The National Confederation of Workers in the Food and Allied (CNTA) launched a national campaign to combat occupational accidents and occupational diseases in breweries and beverages sector on February 20, 2014 in São Paulo. Some 50 leaders of federations and unions of workers in beverage sector who have registered complaints on occupational health and safety issues discussed alternatives for preventing and combating accidents and illnesses in workplaces. The development of a specific regulatory standard for the industry was one of the main demands of the workers. It was reported that between 2010 and 2012, there were 16,848 accidents in the sector, with 42 deaths in the same period.

The National Confederation of Workers in the Food and Allied (CNTA) launched a national campaign to combat occupational accidents and occupational diseases in breweries and beverages sector on February 20, 2014 in São Paulo. Some 50 leaders of federations and unions of workers in beverage sector who have registered complaints on occupational health and safety issues discussed alternatives for preventing and combating accidents and illnesses in workplaces. The development of a specific regulatory standard for the industry was one of the main demands of the workers. It was reported that between 2010 and 2012, there were 16,848 accidents in the sector, with 42 deaths in the same period.

Representative body of 144 000 workers in the sector in Brazil says that profits during the World Cup will not be achieved at the expense of health and safety of workers.

Companies such as AmBev ( present in 13 countries and owns the brands Antarctica, Bohemia, Brahma, Skol, Gatorade, Guarana Antarctica, Pepsi and Sukita among others) and FEMSA (present in 9 countries and owns the brands Coca-Cola,Fanta,Sprite,Nestea,Powerade among others) have flouted basic worker rights and contributed to the incidence of accidents and occupational diseases because of lack of prevention and poor working conditions.

Some of the major complaints made by leaders from across the country were excessive workload, workers' exposure to dust and chemicals, lack of overtime pay and high incidence of repetitive strain injuries and bullying . Among the majority of complaints related to work accidents are situations involving cuts, falls, burns, poisoning, crushing and psychological trauma.

According to the chairman of CNTA, Arthur Bueno de Camargo, demonstrations, strikes in the companies that do not act in relation to preventing and reducing accidents at work are not discarded by the workers . The union will officially share its concerns with the government and enterprises (through the National Confederation of Industry) in an attempt to discuss the possibility of creating a specific regulatory standard for the industry and also intensify inspections in the states and municipalities. Workers also deepened the discussion of the issue in the courts and with the entities for workers from other countries, with the purpose of creating an international focus for joint work in the industry to work with the coordination of the International Union of Food Industry Workers (IUF).

"By June, we plan to be with this process running and secondly, if there is no respond on the part of entrepreneurs and government, we can seek other paths, such as demonstrations, strikes and campaigns against companies that do not show willingness to seek solutions in the prevention of accidents and diseases. We may also make a move for national strike in the beverage industry. We hope it is not necessary to seek this path, and we also hope that both the business and the government have common sense and will meet us to seek alternatives “commented Argues Bueno.

Alarming numbers

Brazil currently has 144,000 employees in the beverage industry the main one being São Paulo State, and followed by Rio de Janeiro with 33,000 and Pernambuco 11,000 workers. The example of the work done by CNTA in the refrigerator sector between 2004 and 2014, which resulted in the recent achievement of Norm No. 36 ( NR36/2013 ), the union wants to discuss improvements in the beverage industry and combat the high number of accidents and occupational diseases.

According to data from the Ministry of Social Security (MPAS), between 2010 and 2012, there were 16,848 accidents in the sector with 42 deaths in the same period. The number of labor accident sickness benefits granted between 2010 and 2012 was 928.

Despite the reduction in the number of accidents and deaths in the sector, the average is still considered alarming by CNTA. In 2010, 6,144 accidents were recorded with 17 deaths and in 2011 there were 5,634 accidents and 14 deaths, compared to 5,070 accidents and 11 deaths in 2012. Most accidents are recorded in the manufacturing of soft drinks and beers.

Impacts

According to Arthur Bueno de Camargo, the pressure and demands for achieving targets should increase during the World Cup, especially for companies sponsoring the World Tournament such as AmBev which represents about 32,000 workers in the Brazilian sector.

"We can no longer tolerate accidents and the goal has to be zero no matter if the company has one or 3000 workers. Safe workplace should concern the government and society as whenever a worker departs for accident, illness or disability, it will be the society and the government to pay the bill "says the chairman of CNTA.

For more information:
Workers AmBev elaborate national agenda claim
http://www.cntaafins.org.br/trabalhadores-da-ambev-elaboram-pauta-nacion...

Disease publishes study on AMBEV / AB Inbev
http://www.cntaafins.org.br/dieese-divulga-estudo-sobre-a-ambev-ab-inbev

Brazil: Workers demanding better working conditions in the beverage industry
http://www.cntaafins.org.br/brasil-trabalhadores-reivindicam-melhores-co...

Workers organize AmBev national meeting for better working conditions
http://www.cntaafins.org.br/trabalhadores-da-ambev-farao-encontro-nacion...