A total of 329 workers turned to employment services and Social Security after the stoppage of production at Autoeuropa, of which 48 were reincorporated into the labor market, as reported this Wednesday by the Secretary of State for Labor.
We had 329 workers who contacted the IEFP joint services. [Instituto de Emprego e Formação e Profissional] and Social Security. Of them, 48 have already been relocated by the public employment service IEFP in the labor market,” said Miguel Fontes during a hearing in Parliament, in the Committee on Labor, Social Security and Inclusion, on the situation in Autoeuropa.
The Volkswagen factory in Palmela was forced to temporarily suspend production due to the lack of a part produced in a factory in Slovenia, badly affected by the floods that occurred in that country last August.
AutoEurope. How a flood in Slovenia slows down 1.5% of GDP in Portugal
Initially, it was planned that the production stoppage, which began on September 11, would last until November 12, but Volkswagen guaranteed, in the meantime, the supply of the missing part from a Spanish and another Chinese supplier, which allowed the return to work to be brought forward to last Monday, even partially.
Autoeuropa resumed production, but only from Monday to Thursday
The stoppage of production at the Palmela factory also affected dozens of Portuguese suppliers, including companies located in the Autoeuropa industrial estate, which, meanwhile, have already announced the dismissal of 325 workers with precarious employment. Autoeuropa had also announced the dismissal of around 100 temporary workers.but they were guaranteed to return to work as soon as production resumed.
According to the Secretary of State for Labor, the Government’s recommendation, “specifically, to the IEFP, was to give priority to the situation of those workers who, once they became unemployed, did not have social protection in the area of unemployment benefits. , due to lack of warranty period.”
In other words, he stressed, it was recommended to employment services “that the effort to relocate them to the labor market should focus especially on these” workers.
Union says Autoeuropa could pay full salaries despite partial resumption of production
In addition to the 48 workers relocated by the IEFP in the meantime, Miguel Fontes stated that “there were others who, despite having the opportunity to resume professional activity in another context, as soon as they realized that the strike was going to be shorter than initially expected expected […] “They preferred to remain available to return to their first employer.”
Furthermore, “there were also situations where workers chose to take the initiative to terminate their employment contracts, because they understood that they did not want to lose income during downtime as part of the dismissal.”
For this reason, they themselves, knowing their high employability and that they are differentiated workers, chose to immediately migrate to other sectors,” he said, admitting that it was a “small number”, but ensuring that “that mobility occurred.”
“I don’t have exact numbers, but both the workers’ committees and the employers informed me,” he explained.
Also heard at the Labor, Social Security and Inclusion Commission, the Secretary of State for the Economy, Pedro Cilínio, highlighted that the Portuguese components industry “is extremely competitive” and that, “despite the fact that Autoeuropa is an important client, […] It does not depend solely on this company.
From the survey carried out we estimate a total of 30 companies directly affected […]and 18 companies were identified where the impact was greater than 25%, and meetings were held with all of them, together with the Ministry of Labor, to present the existing instruments to mitigate this strike, but also to share information and identify other needs,” he claimed.