15 July, 2014The Japanese auto parts company Yazaki plans to close its factory in Feira de Santana, Bahia, at the end of July. The Feira de Santana Metalworkers’ Union, together with CNM/CUT, both affiliated to IndustriALL Global Union, are campaigning to halt the closure and save the jobs of the factory’s 1,200 workers.
Union leaders met Bahia Institutional Relations Department (SERIN) officials on 26 June to ask the state government to mediate. Head personnel officer, Martiniano Costa, agreed to explore the possibility of saving the jobs and to open talks with representatives of the company, the workers and the departments of trade and industry (SICM) and labour and employment (SETRE).
Representatives of the union and the company met the Bahian Regional Superintendent of the Ministry of Labour and Employment on 30 June in Salvador.
Fabio Dias, union president, said that the company wants to close the factory at the end of July. The company says it will not change its plans and wants to dismiss 400 workers at the end of this week so the union has strengthened the campaign against the plant closure.
The CNM/CUT Secretary for Union Policy, Loricardo de Oliveira, also attended the meeting on 30 June and said it was necessary to seek support from local and international organisations. "We are going to talk to the CUT-Sergipe, where the company plans to relocate and ask IndustriALL Global Union to raise the issue with the company’s head office in Japan. We are talking about the fate of 1,200 families. This could also have a major impact on the local economy", he said.
Paulo Cayres, CNM/CUT president said: “The metalworkers in Feira de Santana can count on the CNM/CUT’s support in this fight. We cannot leave 1,200 workers without support. It is a blow to the economy and the labour market. We are in solidarity with the metalworkers at Yazaki and with the struggle of the Feira de Santana union and we are going to fight alongside them to get Yazaki to take responsibility for the situation and ensure the plant does not close", said Cayres.
IndustriALL Global Union is following the situation closely and is ready to act in solidarity with the local union to defend the jobs of more than 1,000 workers in the auto industry.