U.S. Union Fights Takeover of Bankrupt Varig Assets in Brazil

    The United Steelworkers (USW) today said that the Union is cooperating with the CUT (Central Àšnica dos Trabalhadores, Workers’ Unified Central) of Brazil and sharing information about the anti-worker practices of US-based investment fund MatlinPatterson.

    The American workers’s union calls MatlinPatterson a “vulture” fund that is awaiting permission from a Brazilian bankruptcy court to purchase a subsidiary of the Brazilian airline Varig.


    “Thanks to MatlinPatterson, thousands of our members have been forced into the street or robbed of their health insurance and pension benefits,” said David McCall, Director of USW District 1. “We do not believe our sisters and brothers in Brazil will fare any better if MatlinPatterson has its way.”


    In June, Varig filed for bankruptcy protection in both Brazilian and US courts. Late last month, the company announced the sale of its cargo subsidiary, VarigLog, to MatlinPatterson for a reported US$ 38 million. The sale must be approved by a bankruptcy court in Rio de Janeiro before it becomes official.


    The USW is sharing information with the CUT about the harm MatlinPatterson has inflicted on workers at Ormet Corporation and Huntsman Corporation, two US-based companies that fell into the hands of MatlinPatterson after both companies faced financial problems. The fund specializes in distressed investing situations and still holds a controlling interest in both Ormet and Huntsman.


    Led by co-founders David Matlin and Mark Patterson, MatlinPatterson has raised nearly US$ 4 billion since spinning out of Credit Suisse First Boston in 2002.


    At Ormet, about 1,300 workers have been on strike against unfair labor practices since November 2004 at two aluminum mills in Hannibal, Ohio. At Huntsman, hundreds of workers have suffered layoffs, job combinations and cuts to health insurance and pensions since MatlinPatterson took over.


    McCall said that the USW is considering further steps it can take to support Varig workers, including sending a delegation of USW members affected by MatlinPatterson’s investment and management practices to Brazil and other expressions of international solidarity.


    “Too many jobs have been sacrificed already for the greed of David Matlin, Mark Patterson and their partners,” McCall said. “Our Union will not rest until MatlinPatterson gets the message that we will not back down or go away.”


    United Steelworkers – www.steelworkers-usw.org

    Tags:

    • Show Comments (0)

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    comment *

    • name *

    • email *

    • website *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Ads

    You May Also Like

    White Lie: Poverty in Brazil Has No Color

    A little more than a century after the abolition of black slavery in the ...

    How and Where to Vote

    All the US Brazilian consulates phones and addressesBy Brazilian expatriates may vote at the ...

    Marina Silva

    Change of Plans Spared Marina’s Life. She Should Make a Formidable Brazil Presidential Candidate

    Environmental activist and politician Marina Silva could have been on the plane that crashed ...

    Brazil’s Eco Prize Has New Category: Sustainable Business Management

    Companies interested in competing for the Eco Prize 2005 have until today to register. ...

    Brazilian hairstylist

    Brazil’s Small Businesses Grow for Fifth Month in a Row

    The 1.3 million micro and small companies in the southeastern Brazilian state of São ...

    Sambody: Brazil’s Samba Invades the Academy

    “Why should you have a booty if you’re not gonna shake your booty?” Edilson ...

    Lula, Dilma, Sarkozy

    Weak Dollar Is Making Life Hard for Whole Word, Says Brazil’s President Elect

    Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s president elect, told reporters in South Korea that the devaluation of ...

    Brazilian Petrobras's robot

    Brazil’s Petrobras Is Still Calling for US$ 112 Billion in Investments

    Brazilian state-controlled oil multinational Petrobras's business plan for the 2009/2013 period, which is currently ...

    Brazil’s Lula Didn’t Get Money from Cuba, Says Finance Minister

    Brazil’s Minister of Finance, Antonio Palocci, in testimony before the Senate Commission on Economic ...

    Brazilian moqueca

    To Me Comfort Food Is Brazilian Food

    Comfort food to many means meat and potatoes or something that makes you feel ...