Published: September 4, 2021
In the request, Intersul cited companies that closed, a crisis generated by covid-19, a labor liability of Amigos Unidos SA, which was never part of the Consortium, and more than 3,000 processes in the TRT-1
Judge Alexandre de Carvalho Mesquita, of the 1st Business Court, of the Court of Justice of Rio de Janeiro, accepted the Intersul Consortium’s request for judicial reorganization, this Friday, September 3, 2021.
Thus, another group of bus companies in the city tries to escape bankruptcy.
The company Marcello Macedo Advogados was appointed as trustee in the person of lawyer Marcello Macedo.
With that, the consortium will have to present a recovery plan and had the actions and executions in court suspended, except for those considered in emergency cases.
The Intersul Consortium, which transports 15.5% of municipal bus passengers, was formed for the public transport bidding process in Rio de Janeiro with a contract signed on September 17, 2010, comprising the following bus companies: Autoviação Alpha SA , Autoviação Tijuca SA, Transport company Braso Lisboa Ltd., Gire Transportes Ltd., Real Auto-ônibus Ltd., Translitorânea Turística Ltd., Transportes Estrela Azul SA, Transportes São Silvestre SA, Transportes Vila Isabel SA, Transurb SA and Viação Sáenz penalty SA
The contract is for 20 years and may be renewed for an equal period.
“The situation of financial exhaustion of bus companies is known to society as a whole. At this moment of absolute calamity for the sector, it is practically impossible to bear the demands and costs inherent to the operation. The lack of contractual balance, the lack of tariff adjustment and the fall in centralization make it impossible to guarantee the service to the population and threaten the daily displacement of thousands of people in Rio”, explained, through a note, the spokesperson for Rio Ônibus, Paulo Valente. “Public transport is a right guaranteed by the Constitution, and, given the current situation, the request for the Judicial Reorganization regime was the only recourse available to operators”, said yet.
The union also highlighted that “the recent decision of the Regional Labor Court to annul the legal agreement on Centralization makes it unfeasible to break up pending labor issues and prevents companies from keeping their businesses in business. In addition to the threat of shutdown of the lines operated by the consortia, the measure jeopardizes the maintenance of thousands of direct jobs and also makes it impossible to pay compensation for highways already waived after the closing of three Intersul companies.”
Rio Ônibus also reports that since the beginning of the crisis in the sector, 16 bus companies have already been forced to close their doors and 21 thousand buses have been dismissed. Since March 2020, the volume of paying passengers has remained at 50% less. Of the 29 companies that currently make up the consortiums, nine are still in operation just because they have joined the Recovery feature.
WHAT THE INTERSUL CONSORTIUM SAID:
In the request, the Intersul Consortium argues that as of 2015 the
Real Auto-ônibus Ltda. (“Real”), Transportes Estrela Azul SA (“Blue Star”),
Transportes São Silvestre SA (“São Silvestre”) and Translitorânea Turística Ltda. (“Translittorânea”) began to face serious financial difficulties to continue operating and were unable to pay some commitments on time, especially labor, which
led to the filing of thousands of lawsuits with the Regional Labor Court of the 1st
Region – TRT-1, and specifically on Translittorânea, its situation was aggravated
after the TRT-1 recognizes its successor status of a labor liability of the
company Amigos Unidos SA – which, even according to the arguments, was never part of the Intersul Consortium
The debt, at the time the succession was recognized, exceeded R$45 million, and in 2016 the labor debts of these four companies totaled around R$124 million.
The Consortium also reported that with the cash asphyxiated after so many liens and court decisions determining the payment of debts, the companies Translitorânea, Estrela Azul and São Silvestre did not resist and ended their operations,
Real Auto-ônibus, in turn, filed a request for judicial reorganization seeking the renegotiation of its debts and the maintenance of its activities.
The consortium also claimed that, given the closure of the operations of Translitorânea, Estrela Azul and São Silvestre, the other consortium members of the Intersul Consortium were
forced to organize and internally redistribute the lines operated by these companies to avoid discontinuation of services and comply with contracts.
Another allegation is that TRT-1 (Regional Labor Court of the First Region), to determine the payment of labor debts of other companies that did not even operate their lines, came to understand that the consortium would form a kind of economic group with the debtor companies Translittorânea, Estrela Azul, São Silvestre and Real and that, for this reason, it would be jointly and severally liable for the labor liabilities of these consortium members.
With this, the argument goes on, several judges of the TRT-1 started to directly execute the consortium in approximately 3,000 cases, pledged resources that should be allocated to the management and execution of the Concession Agreement and, ultimately, to maintenance the municipal road transport system itself.
Intersul also argued that the redirection was not enough “of this gigantic labor liability against you”, in early 2020, Brazil and the world were affected by the severe effects of the covid-19 pandemic, drastically reducing demand
According to the consortium, even before the drastic decrease in the number of passengers due to the covid-19 pandemic, the fact is that the concessionaires of the passenger transport service by bus had already been suffering from the worsening economic crisis in Brazil since 2015.
The situation of bus companies at the moment is:
CLOSED WITHOUT BEING ABLE TO ATTEMPT JUDICIAL REORGANIZATION:
RIO DE JANEIRO (CAPITAL):
IN JUDICIAL REORGANIZATION;
RIO DE JANEIRO (CAPITAL)
Vila Isabel transport;
Intersul Consortium: Autoviação Alpha SA, Autoviação Tijuca SA, Transport Company Braso Lisboa Ltda., Gire Transportes Ltda., Real Auto-ônibus Ltda., Translitorânea Turística Ltda., Transportes Estrela Azul SA, Transportes São Silvestre SA, Transportes Vila Isabel SA , Transurb SA and Viação Sáenz Pena SA
Adamo Bazani, journalist specializing in transport
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