JBS/Seara employees who work from Monday to Saturday in Sidrolândia (MS) were invited by the company for a barbecue this Sunday (19). The intention behind this invitation, according to reports obtained by the article, would be to attract workers to the unit and convince them to give up the weekly rest provided by law.
In an assembly held in 2020, workers had already rejected the possibility of working 7 days a week slaughtering chickens in that slaughterhouse.
Largest animal protein company in the world, JBS recorded net income of R$ 4.4 billion in the 2nd quarter of 2021, 29.7% more than in the same period last year. It was the biggest quarterly profit in the company’s history.
After denunciation by the Sidrolândia Meat and Poultry Industry Workers Union (Sindaves), the Regional Labor Attorney for the 24th Region reacted last Thursday (16) and recommended that JBS/Seara in Sidrolândia “refrain from suppressing weekly rest, on the 7th day of work, notably on 09/19/2021 (Sunday), strictly observing the 35-hour break.”
This interval is provided for in articles 66 and 67 of the Consolidation of Labor Laws (CLT), in article 7 of the Federal Constitution, in Law 605/1949 and in Precedent 110 of the Superior Labor Court (TST).
In the recommendation, Paulo Douglas Almeida de Moraes, attorney for the Public Ministry of Labor (MPT) cites an invoice of No. 715,2021.24.000/75, which would present “sufficient evidence to conclude that the company Seara Alimentos Ltda, an establishment in Sidrolândia/ MS, intends to slaughter and process poultry on 09/19/2021 (Sunday)”, without compensatory time off.
“The non-adoption of the measures indicated in this notification may result in the filing of a Public Civil Action with requests for obligations to do and not to do, combined with indemnities for individual and collective moral damages”, wrote the prosecutor.
Since June, chicken meat exports have been on the rise in the country. According to the Brazilian Association of Animal Protein (ABPA), there was a “widespread increase” in orders from some of the largest importers, such as China. In that month, the advance registered was 16.2%, in the annual comparison, totaling 397.4 thousand tons.
According to the union, the daily slaughter at the JBS/Seara unit in Sidrolândia jumped from 180 thousand to 205,000 birds without, however, increasing the number of employees at the factory. Today, there are 2.5 thousand workers in total.
The MPT attorney recalls that the activity in slaughterhouses “is characterized by drudgery, intense pace, low temperatures, humidity, inadequate posture, risk of accidents, exposure to biological agents, among others, accumulating numerous risk factors to human health, which is why the granting of recovery breaks fulfills the fundamental purpose of protecting the physical and mental health of workers.”
Sérgio Bolzan, vice president of Sindaves, says that JBS disrespects a decision taken by workers and unions.
[[[ SONORA 17.09 Sérgio Bolzan_Daniel Giovanaz ]]]
“For them, the worker is a disposable item. He got sick, he no longer produces, he is sent away from the company. This is a common practice at JBS, which does not respect workers and tries to impose everything, does not want to negotiate anything with the union”, he says.
“They exploit employees as much as possible until they get sick, ask for leave or are fired,” says Bolzan.
According to the director, JBS called the union to talk on Monday (13). At the dialogue table, he only informed the decision about work on Sundays. Sindaves was against the change, pointing to the workers’ assembly that deliberated against this proposal last year as an argument.
Without an agreement between the parties, the company reinforced that it would have a “barbecue to encourage workers” to go to work next Sunday.
[[[ SONORA 17.09 José Modelski Junior_Daniel Giovanaz ]]]
“If this happens and nothing is done, JBS can try to start practicing this in all slaughterhouses in Brazil, which is inhumane and painful for workers”, evaluates the secretary general of the Brazilian Democratic Confederation of Workers in the Food Industry of CUT (Contac-CUT), José Modelski Júnior.
According to Sérgio Bolzan, after the impasse with the union, the company started to ask employees to sign the acceptance of work on Sundays. This practice, in the manager’s view, refers to moral pressure on workers.
“The manager arrives asking the employee to sign, he will sign in fear of being fired.”
Last Friday (17), Sindaves filed a public civil action in the Labor Court asking for early protection, an injunction to cancel the slaughter next Sunday. The union also held an assembly in shifts, departure and entry of employees, to consult workers.
Head of the Food Industry Workers Union of Criciúma and Region, in Santa Catarina, Célio Elias repudiates the measure presented by the company at the Mato Grosso do Sul unit.
[[[ SONORA 17.09 Célio Elias_Daniel Giovanaz ]]]
“We are talking about one of the largest meat processing companies in the world. They are not respecting the weekly rest and still want to impose an intense rhythm with a daily slaughter of 210 thousand chickens, far beyond what is allowed”, he says.
“The reduction of work pace guided by the MPT’s slaughterhouse project foresees the hanging of 12 live chickens per minute. Can you imagine what it means to hang 22 chickens a minute? This is what has happened in Sidrolândia. It is a total exploitation, which needs to be denounced around the world”, emphasizes the union leader.
From the determinations of the Sidrolândia unit, other states began to organize themselves to block JBS’ actions.
Concerns about the company are not new. Since August, eight unions in the country have built for the first time a unified base date in the country, which takes place between October and November, to put pressure on the company during salary campaigns carried out in units in Paraná, Santa Catarina and Mato Grosso do Sul.
The reporter contacted JBS and is awaiting feedback on the case. The article will be updated as soon as there is an answer to the questions.
Edition: Anelize Moreira