Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Fatcat Saves World

Quebecor Workers, Teamsters Unite to Shut Down Plant in Brazil
The Teamsters

Shift Stoppage on Global Day of Action Wins Concessions From Quebecor World

Workers at the Quebecor World (QW), Inc.) facility in Recife, Brazil, shut down the plant's morning shift today, winning an agreement by the company to negotiate on the union's demands by Feb. 21, including recognizing the workers' union and addressing longstanding health and safety problems that resulted in severe injuries to three workers this month and left one hospitalized.

The second-largest commercial printing company in the world, QW prints one of Brazil's highest-circulation magazines, Veja, at the Recife site. As a result of the strike, plant management agreed to recognize the graphical workers' union, Sindicato dos Trabalhadores nas Industrias Graficas do Estado de Pernambuco (SINDGRAF), and to release union dues the company had been illegally withholding for months. Managers agreed to meet with SINDGRAF regarding the reinstatement of two union leaders fired by plant management last fall.

Nearly 100 protesting union workers at the Recife plant were supported by a 20-member international delegation of union leaders, including a high-level Teamster official and staff. The delegation also was comprised of graphical union leaders from Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Canada and the Union Network International (UNI), the global labor federation that represents QW workers in 16 countries. Also in the delegation were officials and workers from union locals at QW plants in the United States and Chile, and at Quebecor World's plant in Montreal, the company's headquarters city.

"Today's overwhelmingly successful protest showed that worker solidarity is priceless," said Iraquitan da Silva, General Secretary of SINDGRAF's Pernambuco union local, which represents the Recife QW workers. "When we travel together, we're on the road to victory."


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