Embraer Fires 2,500 Aerospace Workers Unilaterally Amidst the Pandemic

The Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer announced the dismissal of 900 workers throughout Brazil on August the 3rd. This announcement comes in addition to 1,600 layoffs due to three Voluntary Dismissal Programs (VDP) carried out in less than two months.

The company did not hold any negotiation with the Metalworkers’ Union of São José dos Campos, violating an agreement to preserve jobs signed on April 9th (clause 8.1), in a period of public disaster caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The VDPs were not negotiated as well. The company only presented the program, without accepting any alternatives. Firing was not voluntary.

During the period to join the VDP, the Union received several complaints from workers on paid leave against harassment coming from Embraer managers to join the VDP what is under Public Prosecutor for probing.

In order to save jobs, the Union proposed to Embraer:

  • Immediate cancellation of all layoffs, including the VDP-related ones;
  • Guarantee against dismissals;
  • Chop from the top leveling top managers’ wages.

According to Embraer’s official document, attached to the plaintiff placed at the 3rd Federal Court of São José dos Campos, there are top managers making more than one minimum wage per day. Chopping from the top can save hundreds of jobs at the plant.

Mismanagement is responsible for the crisis

Embraer blames the pandemic for the dismissals although studies show that major losses are due to the bad deal between Embraer Board of Directors and Boeing.

While the losses due to the pandemic are R$ 83.7 million, the ones due to the Boing deal R$ 1.2 billion.

Furthermore, the Union will resort to State to bring about measures that forbids dismissals. This year, Embraer received R$ 3 billion loans endorsed by Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) and private banks.

Renationalize Embraer

In order to save jobs and restore national sovereignty, the Union stands for Embraer renationalization.

The Union has already warned that jobs were at risk due to the failed deal with Boeing when it launched the campaign to renationalize the company on May 2020. It is necessary to renationalize Embraer in order to not leave jobs at the mercy of shareholders.

Bolsonaro is connivant

President Jair Bolsonaro colluded with Embraer’s “delivery” to Boeing and has his share of responsibility for the layoffs. Since in office, the president stood for selling EMBRAER despite of eventual job losses.

It is important to remember that Bolsonaro could stop the deal at any time as Brazilian government owns the golden share.

“It is a crime what Embraer is doing with the employees. While top executives have millionaire salaries, 2,500 fathers and mothers who depend on their jobs to survive are fired. We will not accept these dismissals. We will resort to any means of struggle to reverse the dismissals” declared Union official Herbert Claros.

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