Railway workers from São Paulo decided, at a meeting held this Monday night (23), to strike on Tuesday (24) on lines 11-Coral, 12-Sapphire and 13-Jade of Companhia Paulista de Trens Metropolitanos ( CPTM). The stoppage is for an indefinite period.
The decision to stop at 12:00 am this Tuesday came after an attempt at conciliation carried out in a hearing at the Regional Labor Court, in São Paulo, which was unsuccessful in the afternoon.
Although CPTM made a new salary adjustment proposal for the category, the railway workers did not agree with the proposal.
In an injunction made at the request of CPTM, Judge Rafael E. Pugliese Ribeiro determined that the strikers should keep at least 70% of the trains running and the employees working during peak hours in the event of a strike. The requirement applies to the periods from 5:00 am to 9:00 am and from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm.
For the rest of the day, the strikers must keep at least 50% of the trains running.
According to the TRT, “during the hearing, CPTM presented new proposals for adjustment” so that the category would not go on strike.
Among the items in the company’s new proposal are, according to the Court:
1- 4% increase, including in payroll from August/21. Differences retroactive to March 2020 will be paid from the February 2022 payroll, in 10 equal and successive monthly installments. The increase will apply to the other clauses of an economic nature in a single installment, on the sheet dated 9/2021, including the retroactive ones;
2. Increase of 6%, with inclusion in payroll from January/22 onwards. Differences retroactive to March 2021 will be paid from the payroll of 2/2022, in 10 equal and successive monthly installments. The increase will apply to the other economic clauses in a single installment, on the sheet of 1/2022, including the retroactive ones;
3. 2022 Profit Sharing Plan: opening of negotiations at the appropriate time, together with the other unions of the other railway representatives.
During the hearing, the union presented a counterproposal, asking that the retroactive salary differences be paid in August and September of this year, which was not accepted by CPTM.
In July, there was a stoppage of railway workers due to salary readjustments, which affected lines 7 – Ruby, 8-Diamond, 9 – Emerald and 10 – Turquoise.
In a statement, CPTM said that the average salary of railway workers is R$ 6,500 and that the strike harms the entire population.
“The Companhia Paulista de Trens Metropolitanos (CPTM) considers it inadmissible that the union representing the employees of lines 11-Coral, 12-Sapphire and 13-Jade, with the entire adult population vaccinated, with an overwhelming economic crisis throughout the world, decide to go on strike this Tuesday (24/08) harming and punishing exclusively citizens who need public transport to go to work, including those who work on the front line in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
The company regrets the decision on the strike and hopes that there is no adhesion on the part of workers out of respect for citizens who need transport. It reinforces that there is a decision by the Labor Court determining the maintenance of 80% of workers at peak hours and 60% at other times, under penalty of R$100 thousand per day. The company will also operate a contingency plan to meet everyone who needs transport, especially those working in essential services.
While thousands of workers lose their jobs or have their incomes reduced – the average income of the Brazilian worker is R$ 2,500.00 – CPTM keeps wages and benefits strictly up to date, even though it was severely affected by the drop in passenger demand during 2020 and the entire year of 2021 and with an average salary of R$ 6,500.00.
It is not understandable that these unions are in a different reality from the rest of the country, which suffers from unemployment, loss of income and hunger.
CPTM presented a proposal for a 6% readjustment retroactive to March 2021, paid from January 2022. In relation to the collective bargaining agreement for 2020, a 4% readjustment was proposed starting in August 2021, retroactive to March 2020. In addition of the payment of the PPR in two installments (the first already paid on 10/08 and the other half on January 10, 2022).”
CPTM workers are represented by three different unions. Last month, workers from the São Paulo Railway Workers Union (lines 7-Rubi and 10-Turquoise) and the Sorocabana Zone Railway Workers Union (lines 8-Diamante, 9-Esmeralda and 13-Jade) had a stoppage on 15th July, which caused inconveniences for São Paulo residents on their way to and from work.
The July strike ended in an agreement with the Metropolitan Transport Secretariat that same day, where the São Paulo government pledged to pay 50% of the profit sharing plan on August 10, and the remainder, with a fine, in January 2022.
Now, the third union that represents the category, the Union of Railway Workers in the Central Zone of Brazil (11-Coral, 12-Sapphire and 13-Jade), has tried to reach an agreement with the São Paulo government through a hearing at the Regional Court of the Work of SP (TRT-SP), but it was not successful and decreed the strike this Tuesday (24).
Passengers in a train car on CPTM Line 11-Coral, in Mogi das Cruzes — Photo: Werther Santana/Estadão Content