Brazil: Judge says that Flaskô must close to pay multinational Braskem

We have received this appeal from workers in Brazil in an occupied factory that are being threatened by a court decision to remove machinery from the factory. Please take part in the protest and solidarity action.

Workers in struggle to save production and jobs

Press release and solidarity appeal

Sumaré, Brazil, November 22, 2.005

During a week of intense mobilisation, the workers of Flaskô, a factory in Sumaré (SP), Brazil, sent a delegation to Forum Sumaré (SP), in an attempt to dialogue with the assistant judge Dr Antonio César Hidelbrand Silva, from the 2nd Civil Court. The workers of the factory, which they have occupied for more than two years, were told a week ago that a court ruling had authorised the withdrawal of one of the main machines from the production line.

The workers are struggling against the threat of the removal of this machine, since the factory is the only source of income for 90 families. The occupation of the factory was carried out precisely to defend these jobs, since the former owners of Flaskô abandoned it leaving behind massive debts to the different parties, most of them to the workers. The workers were received by president Lula in 2003, when he committed himself to finding a solution that would guarantee all jobs. But since a report by BDNES/BASC/BADESS reached the conclusion that the occupied factories were not viable and that the solution was nationalisation, the government has refused to meet us.

Court ruling

According to the ruling of the Sumaré judge, the machine must be given to the multinational Braskem as a guarantee of payment of a debt with the petrochemical multinational dating back to the years 1994-96.

In his ruling, Dr Hildebrand Silva, not only authorises the withdrawal of the machine under threat of arrest warrants, but also adds that the situation of the company is “very comfortable…. It has not paid its original debt, it has not paid the debts it built up later on, and it refuses to hand over equipment which was a guarantee of payment for the original debt.”

He continues by saying that: “Economically its presence in the market… is completely non-viable. It should have been closed long ago, before building up more debts with the financial markets. Its staying open has been, according to all evidence, a disaster, rather than being socially justified.” (Ruling of Judge Antonio César, Sumaré 2nd circuit).

The Flaskô workers know that each factory closed is a graveyard of jobs and that the occupation of the factory by the workers is a political alternative which provides social well-being to the families and the wider community. Thanks to the workers' initiative, the factory is working, paying wages and has not become a graveyard of jobs. What is socially disastrous is the policy of the multinationals and the governments that destroys jobs and creates social chaos.

Braskem is the largest petrochemical company in Latin America and is one of the three largest private companies in the country.

For more than two years, by mobilising their forces, the workers of Flaskô have been united in avoiding the closure of the factory and guaranteeing their jobs, the only source of income of their families.

The workers were met by Lula, the Ministries of the Presidency, of Labour, of Justice and the secretary of the Government of Sao Paulo State, and nothing was solved. Together with the other occupied factories Cipla, Interfibra, Profiplast (Joinville, SC), we demand nationalisation, the only way to guarantee the jobs and conditions of the workers. The debts belong to the bosses who always looted the factories, creating real graveyards of jobs. Faced with this situation the workers are asking for resolutions of support to be sent to the judge.

Model resolution:

We support the workers of Flaskô (Sumaré, SP) who have been struggling for more than two years to defend their jobs and are now facing the threat of the withdrawal of the main machine from the production lines. The debts with the multinational Braskem belong to the former owner who also owes a lot of money to the workers themselves. The workers have nothing but their jobs and need to work.

Send resolutions to:


A/C.: Dr. César Hildebrand e Silva

Juiz auxiliar da 2ª vara Civil da Comarca de Sumaré (SP), Brazil.

Tel.: ++ 55 (19) 3873-2999

Ramal: 259

With copy to:

Cássia Elisabete Souza

Comunication Officer Flaskô - Under Workers' Control

Tel.: ++ 55 19 - 3864-1106

Ramal 236

cel.: ++ 55 19 - 9165-9581


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