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CNM/CUT announces support for Gripen bid

7 April, 2010CNM/CUT metalworkers' union and the Swedish metalworkers' union IF Metall give their support to a Swedish bid to re-equip Brazil with supersonic aircraft, citing its benefits for workers of the sector and for Brazil.

BRAZIL:  While the Brazilian government considers proposals from Sweden, France and the United States to sell fighter aircraft to the Brazilian Air Force, CNM/CUT and IF Metall, both IMF affiliates, have announced their support for the Swedish Gripen bid.

The Brazilian government is about to decide which bid for the international tender to re-equip Brazil with modern supersonic aircraft will best allow it to achieve its military, geopolitical, operational, economic and technological objectives. However, the decision also requires consideration of the country's social and economic development because of its direct influence on production, employment and labour relations.

At a press conference on April 5, the presidents of CNM/CUT, Carlos Grana, and IF Metall, Stefan Löfven, underlined strong points in the Swedish bid:

  • the joint technological research and development component;
  • long term cooperation to find new export markets; and
  • the participation of important social sectors with an interest in the industry, such as research and development institutions in the aviation sector, other spheres of government (state and municipal governments), congress, companies, universities and trade unions.

Noting that under the Swedish bid the Gripen would only be manufactured in Sweden and Brazil, Grana said that it foresees full technology transfer to Brazil, job creation in the sector and "includes social commitments that will represent an international landmark with regard to respect for International Labour Organization's labour standards and guarantee trade union organisation in the factories producing the aircraft in Brazil and Sweden". The proposal would create 1,500 jobs in the Sao Paulo industrial ABC region alone and 28,000 (6,000 direct and 22,000 indirect) in the country as a whole.

The trade unions of both countries said they will demand that the companies involved in the Gripen project conclude an International Framework Agreement on labour relations, involving the signatory companies (subsidiaries and associates) and the whole supply chain in both Sweden and Brazil. They pointed out that such an agreement could serve as a model for implementation of ILO labour standards, which are based on freedom, equity and security.