23 May, 2012Workers at Volvo's plant in Curitiba, have ended their strike after winning the country's highest pay rise. Workers at PK Cables also won a benefits package.
BRAZIL: On May 18, after three days on strike, 4,100 metalworkers at Volvo's plant in Curitiba, in the state of Paraná, won the country's highest pay rise, according to the trade union research organisation DIEESE. They won a package worth BRL 25,000 (US$12,650), including a profit-sharing payment, a bonus and a pay rise worth three per cent plus inflation.
The agreement on the profit-sharing payment and the bonus will inject BRL 102.5 million (approximately US$52 million) into the Paraná economy, says DIEESE. Last year, the value of the package increased by 19.04 per cent. In 2011, Volvo metalworkers won a profit-sharing payment of BRL 15,000 (US$7,600) and a bonus worth more than BRL 6,000 (US$3,000), making a total of BRL 21,000 (US$10,630).
The first instalment of this year's payment of BRL 12,500 (US$6,250) will be paid in the week May 21-27. The second instalment will be paid in February 2013. The real pay rise of three per cent will be applied to wages and vouchers in September, when the new annual collective agreement comes into force.
The workers voted for the agreement at an assembly addressed by the president of the Greater Curitiba Metalworkers' Union, Sergio Butka, who praised the spirit of struggle and the degree of mobilisation of Volvo workers. "Once again, the metalworkers at this company have showed they are aware of their worth and showed their capacity to organise and struggle for what is fair", he said.
Within the next 30 days, the union and the company will discuss targets for the profit-sharing scheme.
The Volvo plant employs 3,100 workers in the factory and 1,000 in the administration sector. Daily production is eight buses, 40 light trucks and 68 heavy lorries for the domestic market and for export markets in Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Mexico and other countries.
Metalworkers at PK Cables also won a package of benefits, including a profit-sharing payment (BRL 4,500 (US$2,280) for achieving 100 per cent of company targets). The first instalment will be paid in June this year. The three per cent plus inflation pay rise and the BRL 2,500 (US$1,270) bonus will be paid when the new collective agreement comes into force. Most metalworkers agreed with the proposal at the assembly convened by the union.
PK Cables is located in Curitiba, manufactures wiring systems and employs approximately 800 workers.