7 April, 2022The Químicos Unificados trade union, representing workers at Natura Brazil, brought activities to a standstill to press for better working conditions. Following the action, the company agreed to meet with the union and to improve the situation at the factory.
Workers at Brazil’s largest cosmetics multinational, Natura, presented the company with a list of demands for better working conditions and asked for a meeting to discuss them. In the absence of a response from the management, the union staged a protest outside the company on 25 March.
Following this action, Natura agreed to negotiate with the union on 29 March. During the meeting, the workers also explained that, following the dismissal of numerous workers over the past year, the remaining employees were having to overstretch themselves to meet the targets and felt that the company should pay them the amounts owed in profit sharing.
Natura worker and union leader, Ivani Souza, said:
“The work pressure has increased, but there are fewer people working, and we end up paying the price. The workload is excessive and many workers suffer injuries. That’s why we’re asking for decent pay and conditions.”
After a 4-hour meeting, Natura agreed to take measures to improve working conditions by solving some of the problems in the factory. The points discussed included:
• a change of health provider
• the provision of appropriate work gear for each task
• improving the quality of the food
• reducing occupational hazards linked to heat stress as a result of exposure to excessive heat or cold
In relation to the request for profit sharing payments and the hiring of personnel for the production lines, the company proposed another meeting for 8 April, at which it intends to present a financial counteroffer.
“There is no doubt that the pressure placed on Natura has borne fruit. Still, this is not the time to sit back and let the company act in its own interests. We have to be vigilant and organised, to assess what solutions the company presents at the meeting on 8 April and to make sure that they are not simply buying time so that the workers feel threatened and give up their fight,”
said the union in an official communiqué.
IndustriALL’s regional secretary, Marino Vani, concluded:
“We congratulate the Químicos Unificados union for fighting for better working conditions. We hope that Natura will honour its commitment and present a proposal in line with the workers’ needs at the meeting on 8 April.
"We will keep track of the developments and continue to stand in solidarity with the workers, the union, its federation and our affiliate, CNQ/CUT, which is also supporting this struggle.”