The workers’ representative on Embraer Board of Directors, Herbert Claros, went to the United States in early April, where he got to know the facilities of Embraer in the city of Melbourne. Read the following interview.
TRADE UNION PRESS* – Is the plant you visited the same that will receive the production of the Phenom and the Legacy? Is the plant ready to manufacture the aircrafts?
HERBERT – The works are in the final phase with two large hangars under construction. It is a modern plant with workers who were already in the aeronautics industry of the region, some of them are former NASA’s workers.
PRESS – Regarding the labor conditions, which has most drawn your attention?
H – Their daily working hours. There is a journey of 40 hours a week, that is, this shows that it is possible for Embraer to adopt the journey of 40 hours a week also here. In Brazil the week journey is 43 hours.
PRESS – In Brazil, Embraer has a nasty habit of not accepting the workers claims as well as of hindering the negotiations with the Union. How would you describe the relationship between Embraer and the Union in the US?
H – Over there in the United States, Embraer does not respect the Union, there is no negotiation. I met with the president of the local union of International Association Machines and Aerospace Workers. He told me that Embraer does not recognize the union and, therefore, the workers do not have the same rights and salaries paid by other companies in the same sector. For comparison purposes, a worker at Boeing, where workers are represented by the union, the salary is 45 U.S. dollars per hour. At Embraer, Melbourne, the salary is, on average, 18 U.S. dollars an hour.
PRESS – Do you intend to keep in touch with the American union?
H – I have already kept a relationship with the US union for two years. Now we are going to start an international campaign for the right to unionization of US Embraer workers. This is a right that every worker should have, no matter which the country is.
*This interview was made by press staff of Metalworkers Union of São Jose dos Campos.