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Brazil unions show solidarity with Mercedes Benz workers

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30 June, 2015The strike at the Mercedes Benz plant in Brazil in protest at 500 dismissals continues and support is growing for the striking workers. Leaders of the chemicals and other sectors showed their solidarity by attending the workers’ camp on 25 June.

After 22 days on strike, 300 Mercedes Benz workers and their families continue to camp outside the factory gates in São Bernardo in support of their dismissed colleagues. A group of trade union leaders from the chemicals and other sectors visited the camp to show their support and solidarity for the cause.

Lucineide Varjão, president of the CNQ-CUT, affiliated to IndustriALL Global Union, and representatives of the ABC Chemical Workers’ Union and the São Paulo Chemical Workers’ Union, also affiliated to IndustriALL, the Jaú Paper Industry Union, Fetquim-São Paulo, Cida Trajano (CNTV), Claudinho (CONTICON) and Paulo Cayres (CNM) all visited the camp.

United and on strike until the company agrees to negotiate

On 25 May, Mercedes Benz sent telegrams to 500 employees informing them of their dismissal. On 8 June, the ABC metalworkers’ trade union decided to camp out indefinitely until the company agrees to negotiate an alternative.

An increasing number of trade unions are joining the struggle by donating food to help their colleagues continue the fight. Lucineide Varjão says the intention is to maintain a strong feeling of unity in order to deal with the difficult situation and defend workers’ rights.

The company’s World Employee Committee has communicated its solidarity with the workers in Sao Bernardo do Campo in their struggle for a future for themselves and their families. In a letter from its president, Michael Brecht, it expressed its profound concern about the current economic crisis in Brazil and the constant threats of dismissal faced by workers. It also called on the company to accept its social responsibility and do everything possible to reach a solution to assist the workers.

IndustriALL Global Union extends its solidarity to the Mercedes Benz workers and urges them to remain united in the struggle and in defence of their rights. It also calls on Mercedes Benz management to negotiate with the workers and to try to find alternatives and reinstate the workers who have lost their jobs.

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