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Cargill Seara Poultry Workers Strike ends in Brazil

Posted to the IUF website 01-Dec-2008

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On November 17 workers at the Cargill-owned Seara poultry plant in the Brazilian State of Mato Grosso do Sul voted to end the strike launched on November 10 (click here for background). An agreement was reached between the company management and the unions in an 8-hour meeting facilitated by the Brasilian Ministry of Labour.

The settlement includes a 9.5% wage raise, a larger basket to benchmark future increases to offset inflation (from R 25 to R 40) and a verbal commitment by the company not to dismiss or retaliate against strikers.

The union demand for a 20% monetary compensation for work in difficult and unhealthy conditions was rejected and the rate maintained to at 10%, well below what has been mandated by the Brazilian Supreme Labour Court. A judicial appeal on this issue is still ongoing.

About 2,600 workers walked off the lines. The strike featured peaks of tension, notably when management broadcasted loud dance music in front of the factory entrance to silence the strikers' picket and when five buses of scabs recruited in the Coophavilla neighbourhood of the city of Campo Grande were brought into the facility overnight. Cargill Seara is the third largest poultry exporter in Mato Grosso do Sul, after ADM and Independencia.