The Ford Co announced on January 11, 2021 their decision to end vehicle production at its three plants in Brazil in 2021. The Camaçari (BA) and Taubaté (SP) plants will be closed immediately, according to the company, maintaining only the production of parts for after sales stocks. The plant in Horizonte (CE) which manufactures the SUV Troller is expected to stop its activities in the 2021 last quarter.
According to the company, only the Research Center in Bahia and the proving ground and its administrative headquarters for South America, both in São Paulo, will remain.
In 2019, Ford had already finished production at the 52-year-old São Bernardo do Campo city plant whose premises were sold to Construtora São José and FRAM Capital.
These closures have a devastating impact on the workers. 3,500 employees work at the Camaçari plant, 830 at Taubaté plant and 470 at Horizonte plant. At least another 15,000 outsourced workers in and out these three plants will be fired.
The company’s announcement states that “the Covid-19 pandemic expands the industry’s persistent idle capacity and reduced sales, resulting in years of significant losses.”
“This measure is absurd! The pandemic accelerated the automaker’s restructuring plans. It is cruel to close plants amidst the pandemic. Layoffs can reach 5,000 direct jobs plus 5 to 6 times of indirect jobs. Workers cannot afford to pay for the crisis” says Luiz Carlos Prates, Mancha, member of the National Executive Board of CSP-Conlutas.
Mancha draws attention to all the tax exemptions that the company has benefitted for countless decades and administrations. “Does the company, which benefits from tax exemptions, think it can leave the country whenever it wants, when its profits have decreased? No!” he emphasizes.
One of the problems pointed out for profit reduction are the financial remittances abroad, to its headquarters. For that reason, Mancha argues that profit remittances by automakers operating in Brazil need to end.
In addition to Ford, Mercedes Benz had already announced the end of operations in Brazil in December 2020.
In the announcement, Ford says it will work in collaboration with the unions to “minimize the impacts of shutting down production”.
CSP-Conlutas opposes such partnership. “We have to resist. Stop the closures. No layoffs! Job security!” says Mancha, who calls on all the Brazilian labor federations to unite and stand up in defense of jobs and the non-closure of Ford plants.
Stop Ford plants’ closure!
No layoffs. Job security now!
End of automakers’ profit remittances abroad!
Nationalization of Ford and all corporations which are laying-off employees under workers’ control!