Brazil: Leading trade unionist sacked by AB InBev for denouncing the death of a worker in the factory

Call for solidarity and pressure upon the company to reverse this new attack

On March 12th, Ambev in Jacareí (São Paulo state) – the Brazilian branch of AB InBev – sacked in “just cause” comrade Joaquim Aristeu Benedito da Silva. The reason alleged by the company was the fact that he published on the web page of CSP-Conlutas (a trade union and popular movement federation) and on social networks an article denouncing the company for an the accident in the factory that led to the death of a young contract worker aged 25 with a pregnant wife.

Joaquim exercised his basic right of expression and also carried out his duty as a leading trade unionist and member of the CIPA (health and work place security commission) when the other health and safety officers wavered under the pressure of the company. However, for the bosses, Joaquim was “tarnishing the name of the company” and was summarily dismissed, without any rights. Instead of investing in the security of the workers, as this was just the most serious of several other accidents in the company, the bosses prefer to silence the one who is exposing the irregularities.

Joaquim had been working at AmBev – Jacareí for 23 years and has been a tirelessly militant fighter for workers’ rights for more than 30 years. He has been the president of the Food and Beverages trade union in São José dos Campos and the region. He was recently elected by the workers to a new term as vice-president of the CIPA of AmBev – Jacareí. Besides that, he’s a member of the Executive of CSP-Conlutas in the state of São Paulo.

AmBev is the Brazilian subsidiary of the multinational mega-corporation AB InBev – the worlds largest brewery. It has companies in 32 countries with about 80 thousand employees. The presence of Joaquim in the company has always been a thorn in the side of the bosses. His dismissal took place a few days before the attempt of the company to push through a bad proposal for the annual profit bonus scheme. In the last year, the workers at AmBev went on strike against the proposals of the company and for better conditions, including issues regarding safety and health of the workers.

Therefore, this is clearly a case of persecution against the trade union organisation of workers in AmBev as a part of a offensive from the employers against those who dare to fight throughout the world in the middle of an international capitalist crisis.

The task of fighting for the reversal of decision of the company lies upon the whole trade union, popular and student movement and the left and democratic political forces. Because of that, we are calling upon all comrades to join this campaign in Brazil and internationally especially in those countries with AB InBev faactories.

Bring up this issue in your trade union branch, movement or organisation and propose a resolution against the sacking and demanding the reinstatement of comrade Joaquim Aristeu Benedito da Silva. Send a copy of the resolution to the company and the trade union.

Help also to spread the information about this attacks from the bosses and the steps being taken by the campaign to reassure the reinstatement of comrade Joaquim.

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March 2012