The labour dispute between Brazil Post and the country’s regional postal unions will go to trial, after conciliation talks yesterday failed to reach agreement.
But, the Post has been granted an injunction that requires unions to ensure at least 40% of workers in each department report to work during strike action.
Brazil Post met with Fentect, the national umbrella group for Brazil’s regional postal unions, yesterday morning at the Superior Labour Court (TST).
The TST said that since no agreement was reached, the matter will go to trial for decision by the labour judge Katya Arruda.
Following yesterday’s meeting, the TST conciliator Cristina Peduzzi aid there was a “chasm” between the demands of the unions for a 43.7% wage increase and the 5.2% offer from Brazil Post.
Peduzzi had recommended a deal based on a 5.2% wage increase and higher benefits like food coupons than Brazil Post had been offering, and wanted to set up panels to discuss issues including working conditions, healthcare, diversity and an amnesty on workers that have already gone on strike, from whom Brazil Post wants to dock vacation time.
The TST said Brazil Post rejected the proposal, unhappy about its economic impact on the company, preferring the matter to go to trial. The union representatives were concerned about healthcare arrangements, but said they wanted to keep negotiating.
The Court said given the rejection by the Post, Peduzzi decided to abandon conciliation proceedings and move the case to trial.
At the end of yesterday’s meeting, the TST conciliator did partially grant an injunction requested by Brazil Post to prevent workers striking before a legal decision is made on a new collective bargaining agreement. The unions are now required to ensure at least 40% of workers in each sector or unit of the postal service reports to work prior to the trial.
Failure to ensure the 40% quota will mean Fentect facing fines of BRL $50,000 a day.
Around 23 of the country’s 35 postal unions were on strike as of Tuesday night, with more of the regional unions set to vote on joining the action later this week.
Peduzzi said that while strike action is a legitimate way for workers to put pressure on management, Brazil’s government had an obligation to provide essential services, and the country’s postal service was of “noted social importance, especially for those most vulnerable and residing in remote regions of the country”.
Brazil Post said yesterday that it believed on average 91% of its postal workers were still working, estimating that 10,737 staff out of 120,000 have joined the industrial action in 19 states and the Federal District – suggesting that most of those on strike are mail delivery staff.
“To ensure delivery of letters and parcels to the population, the company is adopting measures such as relocation of employees from administrative areas, hiring temporary workers, overtime and implementation of joint efforts on weekends,” the company said in a statement.
However, Brazil Post did confirm that it has suspended express and guaranteed delivery services including SEDEX 10, SEDEX 12 and SEDEX Hoje in the Sao Paulo metropolitan area, Tocantins, Parana and the Federal District because of the partial shutdown.
Source: Post&Parcel/TST/Brazil Post