First GoodElectronics meeting in Brazil

On August 4, Reporter Brásil and GoodElectronics organised a regional network meeting on the issue of labour rights in the Brazilian electronics industry. Over 30 participants representing trade unions, NGOs, human rights organisations and labour groups met in Sao Paulo to ‘link and learn’.

First GoodElectronics meeting in Brazil

On August 4, Reporter Brásil and GoodElectronics organised a regional network meeting on the issue of labour rights in the Brazilian electronics industry. Over 30 participants representing trade unions, NGOs, human rights organisations and labour groups met in Sao Paulo to ‘link and learn’.

A number of participants gave presentations about their work to get insight in who is doing what and to identify the main labour issues. These include long working hours, low wages, temporary labour, gender discrimination and unorganized workers. Another problem is occupational health and safety (OHS).  For example, a leader of the Manaus Metalworkers’ Union explained how bad workplace ergonomics are causing illnesses among workers.

It was noted that Brazil faces a similar situation to that in other parts of the world. Felipe Burgueño from CEREAL (Mexico) explained how they have been addressing similar issues in the Mexican electronics industry, for example through workers’ trainings. The participants discussed how there could be more unity and joint strategizing both on the national and international level.

Collaboration

According to Irene Schipper of SOMO, the meeting was a success: “A lot of the attending parties shared very valuable information, which was previously unavailable or unknown to other attendees. It was a welcome surprise to find so much support, and I believe this meeting could lay the groundwork for a fruitful future collaboration.”

An example of such collaboration is that SOMO and Reporter Brásil are currently working on an in-depth report on the Brazilian electronics sector based on field research and workers’ interviews. Publication is expected in the first half of 2016. Keep an eye on the GoodElectronics website!

Background

Prior to the meeting, Réporter Brasil and SOMO carried out a mapping study on the electronics sector in Brazil published by GoodElectronics here. GoodElectronics is starting to focus more of its attention to the country. In recent years, several electronics brands including Apple set up business in Brazil, following brands like LG and Samsung who got there in the nineties. Major international EMS providers like Foxconn and Flextronics have also found their way.

About GoodElectronics

In 2014, GoodElectronics embarked upon a 5-year EU-funded programme.  In the context of this programme, several activities including network meetings are to be organized. Earlier in 2015, another ‘regional network meeting’ of GoodElectronics was held in Thailand. These meetings are aimed at offering opportunities for establishing connections, sharing information, strategizing and making joint plans between concerned parties.