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GM workers in Brazil continue to strike

8 October, 2021Workers at General Motors’ Chevrolet-producing São Caetano do Sul plant in Brazil are on strike since 1 October after negotiations with the employer have broken down.

After the union's decision to launch the strike, a conciliation hearing was held at the regional labour court. However, no agreement was reached between the parties.

"We had no alternative but to halt operations, as their proposal did not meet our demands,"

says union president Aparecido Inácio da Silva.

Among other things, the workers are calling for a wage adjustment based on the national consumer price index (NCPI) over the past 12 months, a real wage increase of 5 per cent, a wage floor with an inflation-adjusted correction for the 2016–2021 period, and food vouchers.

They are also demanding that the social clauses set out in the current collective employment agreement be maintained, particularly clause 42, which ensures job stability for workers with occupational illnesses.
In an attempt to end the strike that began on 1 October, the company put forward another proposal, which the workers unanimously rejected in an assembly on 4 October.

GM offered a retroactive adjustment of 10.42 per cent (total NCPI increase) from 1 September, a merit raise every six months for workers on the new pay scale, and for clause 42 of the collective employment agreement to be maintained with a change in wording. This proposal had been suggested by the regional labour court in the conciliation hearing on 1 October.

The union is still ready to negotiate and is looking for a solution to end the deadlock.

"We will stand firm until the company puts forward a satisfactory proposal that meets our list of demands,"

says Aparecido Inácio da Silva.

IndustriALL regional secretary Marino Vani says:

"We stand in solidarity with our colleagues and the union in their decision. We have to set limits or working conditions will continue to come under attack, as they have in Brazil for the past five years. We hope that the company will show a minimum of dignity towards its workers and provide concrete and satisfactory solutions so that we can bring an end to this dispute."