Brazil: Rising profits do not prevent layoffs: Fibria Celulosa in Mato Grosso do Sul
On August 25, 2015, employees of the Fibria Company in Tres Lagunas, Mato Grosso do Sul, made public the recent layoffs made by the company – one of the largest pulp producers in Brazil. “In the last few weeks alone there were almost 18 layoffs. And the worst is that some workers with occupational diseases were also dismissed.” The dismissals are thought to be a retaliation due to workers’ mobilization surrounding the creation of a new union organisation. The workers considered the foundation of the Forestry Worker Union in early September 2015 as essential to confront a company that makes employees work long hours with low wages. While Tres Lagunas factory shows growing profits in every quarter, its workers receive the lowest pay rates when compared with salaries paid in other states. In addition, the company recently announced the expansion of the industrial plant with the construction of a new unit. BNDES’s investments and tax relief are also expected. A report released by Fibria’s workers during a session of the City Council of Tres Lagunas denounces serious irregularities on the part of the company.