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Gerdau workers in Brazil face anti-trade union practices

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26 November, 2015The Brazilian company Gerdau’s anti-trade union practices are violating the freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining. IndustriALL calls on the company to respect workers’ rights in Brazil and expresses its total support and solidarity for the workers.

Gerdau is attacking workers’ rights at six of its factories in Brazil. The company wants to issue vouchers to workers instead of giving them a pay rise as required by law. The union has already signed collective agreements covering some of these plants, but workers have yet to receive the agreed pay rise.

Union members have denounced the company for installing security cameras to monitor employees in some parts of the factories without advising workers, which is illegal. The company is using various tactics to put pressure on employees to accept its proposal, which does not comply with the collective agreements it has signed. However, the unions are standing firm and are receiving regular messages of solidarity.

IndustriALL affiliate the National Confederation of Metalworkers affiliated to the CUT (CNM/CUT, represents 5,230 workers at Gerdau. It has rejected these anti-trade union practices and expressed its support for the workers.

“In response to these actions, the six CUT-affiliated unions will take all reasonable measures to defend the interests of metalworkers and ensure respect for trade union organisation and collective agreements”, said the CNM/CUT in an official communique.

Jyrki Raina, IndustriALL general secretary, has written to Miguel Rossetto, minister of labour and social security and Armando de Queiroz Monteiro Neto, minister of development, industry and international trade, to ask them to intervene. He has also written to Gerdau’s CEO André Johannpeterm, saying:

IndustriALL calls on Gerdau to comply with Brazilian and international labour legislation that provides unrestricted protection for workers’ right to freedom of association and collective bargaining.