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Brazilian Chemical Workers Reject Deep Job Cuts at DuPont in Bahia State

13 December, 2010

Workers at a DuPont chemical plant in the northern Brazilian state of Bahia staged a plant-gate protest on Thursday, 9 December, against the American company’s planned redundancies, job cuts that could seriously jeopardize the safety of workers and residents living in the city of Camaçari. The workers and their union, ICEM affiliate CNG-CUT Químicos/Petroleiros, were calling attention to safety concerns to public authorities at the protest.

DuPont proposes to cut up to 45% of the 130 jobs at the agricultural chemical and herbicide plant, which makes the chemical diuron. The ICEM is not convinced local management completed the necessary consultative process with the union in order to limit the redundancies and potential safety hazards.

Manifestation on 9 December at DuPont’s Camaçari, Brazil, plant

The ICEM expressed its support to the CNQ-CUT branch in Bahia state in its protest. That letter, in English, can be found here

DuPont prematurely said it would halt two lines of production and speculation is it would shift work to India. The union stated that DuPont intends to cease production of diuron and import it to Brazil.

José Dias de Miranda, who heads the union in Bahia state and is employed at DuPont, said that even at current employment levels, the plant has experienced fiery chemical explosions that have seen three workers die and two others severely burned.