Brazil’s Varig Fired Workers Vow to Fight in Court “Plunder” by New Owners

Brazilian flag carrier Varig, which was recently sold to VarigLog, a former subsidiary, announced Friday that it will lay off 5,500 workers as part of a broad restructuring plan.

According to a press release issued by the airline, in making the move the company is adapting to "real current operational needs". The release adds the company will "retain 3,985 employees out of a total of 9,485 in Brazil".

í‰lnio Borges, president of Brazilian National Union of Aircraft Workers (Sindicato Nacional dos Aeronautas) has informed that Varig’s workers intend to appeal to the courts to have their rights protected.

Borges classified as "absurd" Varig’s action to fire so many people (5,500) at once.

"From our point of view this is even an act of cruelty because Varig’s workers for years have been putting lots of effort to keep the company flying amid all its difficulties. In the latest months they didn’t even  have a salary and they had to face the legitimate wrath of the public who was getting bad service," the union leader said, adding:

"Now that the company is practically given way to a super rich new owner, sustained by a huge foreign investment fund, instead of paying the late salaries, they decide to drastically reduce the number of workers."

Borges called the action by Varig an "spoliation of workers right" and assured that his union and the workers are not going to take it passively.

According to him, the new Varig is sending former workers home without paying them a cent, although the company hands them a guide explaining how they can receive unemployment insurance and their FGTS (Fundo de Garantia por Tempo de Serviço – Guaranteed Severance Fund), a Social-Security -like benefit.

Varig admitted there’s "a commitment to gradually re-hire redundant staff depending on the pace in which the airline’s fleet is restored and the consequent expansion of the national and international routes."

The company said it will maintain its current operations, which are for the moment limited to flights among the Brazilian cities of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Porto Alegre, Fortaleza, Salvador, Recife and Manaus.

Varig also runs daily flights to Frankfurt, Germany, and Buenos Aires and on alternate days to Miami and New York.

The company estimates that the layoffs will cost an estimated US$ 116 million. Varig must also meet another US$ 50 million payment in arrears through July, according to the Brazilian press.

Varig, which until three months ago ran 70% of all international flights originating in Brazil, currently operates with just 10 aircraft.

Saddled with debts of some 3 billion US dollars, the air carrier was acquired at public auction last Thursday by VarigLog, the company’s former cargo subsidiary, for US$ 24 million.

Mercopress, Bzz

Tags:

  • Show Comments (0)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Ads

You May Also Like

Brazil’s Carmakers Intent on Taking on the World

Following the example of other sectors in industry, Brazilian carmakers have started diversifying their ...

Twin-engine plane that crashed in Bahia, Brasil

Brazilians Plunder US$ 2.6 Million from Crashed Plane with 4 Dead

A twin-engine plane carrying four people and millions in cash fell Wednesday, March 14, ...

With 13 Million Small Businesses, Brazil Is World’s 7th Most Enterprising Country

Brazil is the seventh most enterprising country in the world. This information was disclosed ...

For Brazilians

The Brazilian Consulate in Los Angeles  answers the most common questions from Brazilians living ...

Lula and Presidential Candidate Rousseff Fined for Early Electioneering

Brazil’s minister of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), Felix Fischer, accepted the accusation of ...

Despite Red Tape and High Taxes Brazil Makes the Case to Draw Foreign Investors

Brazil should attract more foreign investment in coming years. The statement was made by the ...

New Accusation Puts Portugal Telecom in the Midst of Brazil’s Vote-Buying Scandal

It continues to rain accusations and denials in BrasÀ­lia. Yesterday, during a hearing at ...

World Social Forum Back in Brazil and Ready for Change

Representatives of the Organizing Committee of the World Social Forum (WSF) met yesterday, November ...

Beware the Chile Effect, Brazil’s Lula Warns His Supporters

The president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, called on his supporters not ...

Brazil Hoping to Sign a Mercosur-EU Agreement by 2006

Given the discouraging prospects of the coming trade liberalization negotiations in the framework of ...