Mercedes-Benz workers decide to join reduced working hour program

The metal workers see the program as the only alternative to avert job

Publicado em 16/08/2015 - 11:14 Por Marli Moreira reports from Agência Brasil - São Paulo

The Metal Workers' Union in the ABC Paulista area is planning to notify Merceces-Benz Monday (Aug. 17) that they are willing to consider joining the Employment Protection Program (PPE) in an attempt to avert the carmaker's plan to cut jobs as of September 1st.

The decision was made Saturday (Aug. 15) at a meeting with about 1,500 staff at the Mercedes-Benz plant in São Bernardo do Campo, in the region known as the ABC Paulista – which consists of three municipalities in the state of São Paulo (Santo André, São Bernardo do Campo, and São Caetano do Sul) that concentrates a number of car manufacturers and metal works.

The PPE program was introduced on July 6 by President Dilma Rousseff as an attempt to avoid mass dismissals amid the crisis. Designed to last six months and potentially extendable by an additional six-month period, the program is meant as a temporary fix that will reduce working hours and wages by up to 30%. Half of the pay cut amount will be compensated to workers through funding from the Worker Protection Fund (FAT). Employers will be barred from firing workers that opt into the program for the duration of the program and two subsequent months.

According to the head of the Metal Workers' Union, Sérgio Nobre, opting into the PPE program has become an alternative he views as sufficient to stop job cuts.

“If the company insists on cutting jobs in no matter what scenario, we'll do whatever it takes [to stop it]. We won't accept these dismissals,” Nobre said.

Translated by Mayra Borges

Fonte: Mercedes-Benz workers decide to join reduced working hour program

Edição: Armando Cardoso / Nira Foster

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