7 April, 2008Metalworkers in Brazil are organising demonstrations and strikes throughout the country, to pressure Congress to approve a reduction in working hours.
BRAZIL: Two national metalworkers' confederations, both IMF affiliates, the Confederación Nacional de los Metalúrgicos (CNM) affiliated to the CUT trade union central and the Confederación Nacional de los Trabajadores Metalúrgicos (CNTM), affiliated to the Força Sindical (FS) central, are organising a Unified National Campaign for a reduction in working hours, without a reduction in pay. The campaign will also call for ratification of ILO Convention 158 (against the unjustified termination of employment), as the turnover of workers in the metalworking industry climbed to over 30 per cent in 2007.
Metalworkers also scheduled a calendar of activities that includes demonstrations and strikes in all the country's states, in order to pressure the National Congress to approve a reduction in working hours.
The campaign was approved at a meeting held at the Sao Paulo Metalworkers Union offices, attended by Eleno Becerra, CNTM president, Carlos Alberto Grana, CNM president and leaders of metalworking federations and unions in all states in which the confederations have affiliates.
The calendar of activities will be announced on April 14, at a press conference called by both confederations.
"Companies are hitting record production levels, meanwhile the prices of cars, for example, are the same throughout the country, but pay and working hours are not. So we have to take joint action to end these inequalities. If the price is national, pay rates should be the same," said Grana.
"The fight for a reduction in working hours is a major battle. Our demand for a reduction in working hours is only the beginning and we shall intensify this campaign," said Eleno Becerra.