30 June, 2021Paper workers in Mogi das Cruzes, Brazil, are celebrating a union victory after signing an agreement with Suzano, preventing the company from worsening working conditions.
The union of Mogi das Cruzes paper workers, part of CNQ/CUT, an affiliate of IndustriALL Global Union, took action against the company's plans to worsen working conditions.
After a campaign on social media and at the factory entrance, they managed to reach an agreement with the company in order to keep their benefits. On 15 June, the union approved the agreement at a virtual assembly.
The new agreements provides for the following:
- It will remain in effect for two years
- Workers will have a one-hour lunch break
- 690 hours will be paid between 2021 and 2023
- A 6x2 shift pattern will be put in place to cover annual leave
The paper and pulp company announced its intention to amend its agreement with the union on 17 May. The union said that the proposed changes did not reflect the company's economic reality and undermined workers' rights.
They called for a fair agreement that valued the company’s workers. The union also condemned Suzano, which is specialized in eucalyptus production, for reducing the length of the agreement from two years to one year.
Union president, Marcio Bob Cruz, says:
"The original proposal was despicable – it withdrew workers' rights and represented a step backwards in our long and successful union struggle. Suzano does not need to take these kinds of measures because it is a big company.
"Our campaign gained national and international support, and the unity of workers was decisive in getting the company to back down. We know how difficult it is to reclaim lost rights at the negotiating table. That's why, each and every worker played a key role in this victory."
IndustriALL general secretary, Valter Sanches, adds:
"The actions and resistance of the Mogi das Cruzes paper workers union are an inspiration to all workers in the paper and pulp industry, not just in Mogi and Brazil but across the globe.
"Their victory shows all workers, and their bosses, that when we are firm and unified, we have the power to refute management's attempts to undermine workers' rights."