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40 Brazilian companies call for a no-layoffs pledge

9 April, 2020In response to the COVID-19 crisis, 40 Brazilian companies are calling on other companies not to lay off workers until at least the end of May.

The aim of the "Não demita!" (No layoffs!) initiative is to promote corporate social responsibility. They are urging other companies to pledge to keep on all of their workers during the first two months of the coronavirus crisis in order to prevent, or at least minimize, a possible economic and social meltdown.

The companies are urging for other options during this exceptional period before shutting down operations and conducting mass layoffs. Companies needed to look after their employees, who depend on their wages. It is up to companies to ensure their supply chains are intact and that factories are operational.

They called on business leaders to comply with the workplace health and safety measures recommended by the World Health Organization and Brazil’s Ministry of health, for example providing a safe work environment where workers can maintain the recommended physical distance.

They also called on financially solid companies to support local communities, as local entrepreneurs have an important role to play.

At least seven of the 40 companies involved operate in sectors represented by IndustriALL Global Union, including:

  • WEG (electrical and electronics sector, and energy)
  • Suzano (pulp and paper)
  • Unipar (chemicals)
  • SEB (domestic appliances)
  • Cosan (biofuels, and oil and gas)
  • Alpargatas (textiles and garments)
  • Natura (cosmetics)

IndustriALL's general secretary, Valter Sanches, recently wrote to 50 companies with which IndustriALL has global framework agreements with, calling for cooperation with unions to protect the health, safety, jobs and wages during the coronavirus pandemic.

Sanches welcomes the initiative by Brazilian companies and encourages companies in other countries to follow:

"Workers will need to have jobs, wages and spending power in order to take us out of the economic crisis as quickly as possible. This is the type of commitment we would like to see from companies all around the world."