Press statement by Rafael Prata, Communications advisor for Flasko, a company under workers’ control

With court orders and arrest warrants against the management of the Flasko factory, which operates under workers’ control, the decision has been made to hand over the administration of the company to an administrator under the control of the old bosses. The administrator named by the judge has already dismissed 50 workers, starting with all the members of the Factory Council elected by the workers’ assembly.

Some 150 members of the Federal Police invaded Cipla in Joinville/SC on May 31 and expelled the workers from the plant. With court orders and arrest warrants against the management of the factory, the decision has been made to hand over the administration of the company to an administrator under the control of the old bosses, the brothers Anselmo and Luis Batschauer, who must answer for numerous civil crimes, tax violations and for crimes against the workers, due to their accumulated debts and corruption.

Up to now, the administrator named by the judge has dismissed 50 workers, starting with all the members of the Factory Council elected by the workers' assembly. What is more, the Federal Police have confiscated all the goods they found in the company, including those for the personal use of the workers. They have also cancelled the mobile telephones and emails of the company, in an attempt to impede and control the communications of the plant.

A national and international campaign of resolutions was immediately launched and two public meetings have been held so far. One was held in front of the doors of Cipla by workers of the company who refuse to accept the intervention. They are receiving support from across the country. The other was held in the occupied factory Flasko (Sumaré/SP), which for the moment has not been occupied by the Federal Police, despite belonging to the same economic group.

Understanding the situation

Almost five years ago, the workers of Cipla and Interfibra (in Joinville/SC) and of Flasko (Sumaré/SP) occupied their companies and brought them back into production, in response to threats of closure and the non-payment of wages and benefits. Thus, the workers were able to keep their jobs and maintain production and wages. At the same time they were able to organize a national and international solidarity campaign. The responsibility of the Lula government is to accept the opinion of the BNDES/BADESC, which recognizes the viability of the companies, transforming the passive into the active, by means of the intervention on the part of state bodies. Thus the document justifies the demand of the workers for the nationalization of these companies, such as in Venezuela and Bolivia.

After all, approximately 80% of the millions worth of debt that weighs on the companies is with the state treasury and with the social security of the workers, such as FGTS and INSS, which have accumulated but not been paid. These were never paid by the old owners, but now that the factories have been occupied by the workers, they have been threatened in order to attempt to break their determination to maintain their jobs and sustain their families.

The auctioning of goods, machinery and equipment, confiscation and invoicing and threats of imprisonment against management have become routine, despite the mobilizations and pressure on the federal government and the agreements reached with public organizations. Meanwhile, a judicial decision favourable to an INSS (Social Security) action, carried out by a strong police contingent, threatens to transfer the administration to an administrator under the control of the Batschauer brothers, just as happened at another factory of the group, Profiplast (SC) - the workers of which suffered four months delay in their wages and the non-payment of their benefits.

The workers do not accept this intervention and are resisting - in front of the plant -and are prepared to fight until the end in defence of 1200 jobs.


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