The news of the closure of activities at the Ford plant in the city of São Bernardo do Campo, SP, after more than 50 years of operation, has been shaking the automobile market in the country.
The measure is part of the company's overall restructuring plan, which has just entered into a partnership with Volkswagen to manufacture utility vehicles.
According to information from the President of the ABC Metalworkers' Union, the decision came from the head office of Ford in the United States and apparently no union or employee representation body was consulted or informed of the decision prior to the media release.
Historically, the ABC Metalworkers' Union is a very strong and active entity in the region, protagonist of several strikes and movements in favor of improvements in the quality of life and the standard of remuneration and benefits for the employees that it represents.
The Union has always participated in collective bargaining negotiations involving mass layoffs, since, although there is no rule regulating the subject, as a result of a precedent of the Superior Labor Court, negotiating with the Union of the category was an essential requirement for the validity of the mass layoffs, with a view to reducing impacts on society.
However, Law No. 13,467/17 began to expressly deal with the question, classifying terminations as: individual, plural and collective/mass, being the employer free to act as wish (embodied in its directive power), regardless of the modality of the termination, without obeying any antecedent conduct , i.e. in the case of collective termination, prior negotiation with the professional union is no longer a requirement of validity of the act.
In addition to the union, there is the figure of the Factory Commission, created in mid-1945, in the midst of the resurgence of the labor and trade union movement. It is a commission elected by the employees, to represent them with the union organs and the employer, in order to reinforce the employees' demands.
Until the entry into force of the Labor Reform in November/2017, the so-called Factory Commission was an historic creation, but without any legal support, although recognized by jurisprudence.
The Federal Constitution, in its article 11¹, ensures the election of a representative of the employees for the purpose of mediating the claims with the employer, for companies with more than 200 employees.
However, only upon the entry into force of Law No. 13,467/17, with the...