Embraer To Appeal Labor Court Ruling

 - March 31, 2009, 11:28 AM

Brazilian airplane manufacturer Embraer plans to appeal a local labor court’s decision that set March 13 as the official date for the start of the company’s layoffs, a company spokesperson told AIN today. Embraer also said it will appeal the court’s use of the word “abusive” in its characterization of the company’s actions.

After finding that the company did not violate any of the country’s labor laws, the court ruled that Embraer would not have to reinstate any of the 4,300 employees it laid off in February. However, it also ruled that Embraer would have to pay the employees’ salaries up to March 13, rather than February 19–the day the company originally instituted the dismissals. The court also “validated” Embraer’s earlier offer to pay two months’ salary and a year’s medical benefits as severance.

A week after Embraer had announced the layoffs, the labor court forced the company to suspend its plan to cut 20 percent of its 21,000-strong workforce after it agreed to hear the collective lawsuit. However, the company had already let go and paid severance to “the vast majority” of the production workers and managers slated for dismissal, company CEO Frederico Curado told AIN the week before the court decision.

“Brazilian legislation is very clear about the right of any party, either the employer or the employee, to terminate his labor contact,” Curado said. “Of course, there are compensations which are clearly outlined and the laws are respected. That’s what we did.”