Faber-Castell trade union leaders from Brazil and Peru held an online meeting to assess the situation on the ground amid the global spread of COVID-19. BWI and German multinational Faber-Castell have an International Framework Agreement (IFA).
Flávio Moraes, President of STI Químicos de São Carlos and Coordinator of the Faber-Castell International Wokers’ Network, said that trade unions, more than ever, need to promote social dialogue with companies. “Our network will promote the best practices in all plants. We will not allow workers to be exposed to risky workplaces and any withdrawal of our rights.”
In Brazil, Faber-Castell has arranged thermal cameras and forehead thermometers at workplace entrances to identify and isolate workers who may be experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Time-off licences for risk groups were also granted while crowding was reduced by increasing the number of meal breaks, entry and exit points, and limiting to half the number of workers riding shuttles.
In Peru, the plant was reportedly completely shut down to comply with a nationwide lockdown. Although the union was able to secure the workers’ wages, Gumercinda Angeles, Deputy General Secretary of SUTFACAP Peru, said that due to a national decree that allows the suspension of employment contracts without any compensation, workers of the Peruvian subsidiary are on the alert. They asked the company not to take any action without prior dialogue and negotiations with the union.