Two articles on Ford’s closure and the crisis of bureaucratic capitalism

BA: Workers protest Ford’s closure again

Caption: Approximately 2,000 employees participated in the protest | Photo: disclosure

Ford workers held another action against the closing of the plant in Camaçari on the morning of January 21. The series of protests began when the multinational company announced on the 11th of the same month that it would shut down its operations in Brazil.

In a symbolic act, the workers took off their uniforms, in which they wrote the names of all the relatives who will be affected by unemployment, and hung them on the fence that surrounds the factory headquarters.

The automaker claims that five thousand employees will be affected. However, the president of the Metalworkers Union of Bahia, Júlio Bonfim, contests the number, stating that the real impact of the loss will be 12 thousand direct workers. Also considering the indirect ones, around 60 thousand people will be affected.

The automobile sector is one of the most affected by the general crisis of monopolies. Brazil’s semi-feudal character necessarily leads it to undergo a process of deindustrialization, denationalization of companies and demobilization of industrial chains, making it increasingly dependent on commodities.

This is an unofficial translation of an article published on the A Nova Democracia website on January 28.

Crisis of bureaucratic capitalism: Ford announces closure of its factories in Brazil

Workers protest Ford’s closure. Photo: AND Database.

The U.S. automaker, Ford, announced on January 11 that it will close all of its vehicle manufacturing units in Brazil. With this measure, Ford (which has factories in Bahia, São Paulo and Ceará), will lay off more than 22,000 workers.

Against the closure of the factories, employees of the company have protested in Camaçari, Bahia and Taubaté, São Paulo.

In Camaçari, the workers arrived at 5:30 a.m. to begin their work shift, however they found the gates of the unit closed. After that, the workers held an assembly in the parking lot of the unit and then went to the city hall to continue with the protest. According to the President of the Metalworkers Union of Camaçari, Júlio Bonfim, so far the employees have not been summoned to settle the accounts, much less to close the contracts, a fact that, according to him, leaves the workers helpless.

Júlio Bonfim, explained that the decision to close manufacturing activities in Brazil, was exposed to him by the president of Ford in South America, Lyle Watters. According to the magnate, the decision was made because of the country’s economic instability.

Bomfim also said that the executive, Lyle, said that the coronavirus issue was decisive for the decision made. The speech is in line with the note the automaker issued to the press to justify the closure: “as the Covid-19 pandemic expands, the industry’s persistent idle capacity and reduced sales results in years of significant losses,” the statement said.

In Taubaté, a protest drew some 500 workers, who positioned themselves against the plant’s closure. An assembly defined the beginning of a watch at the company gates, with the aim of preventing the entry and exit of materials.

AGONIZING CRISIS OF BUREAUCRATIC CAPITALISM

The exit of the imperialist multinational Ford from the country is yet another result of the profound crisis that is hitting Brazil, which is still suffering the impacts of the imperialist crisis of 2020. With Ford’s exit, the growing and criminal deindustrialization of the country continues.

Data from the Ministry of Economy show that tax incentives for automobile manufacturers reached R$43.7 billion between 2010 and 2020. In the last six years, multinationals in the automobile sector have injected 69 billion dollars – the equivalent today of more than R$367 billion – into Brazilian subsidiaries. Of this initial ‘investment’, just over half (US$ 36.9 billion) has already been returned in profit remittances and debt payments to the parent companies.

Companies like this always look for countries in which they will be able to draw the maximum profit, that is, spend as little as possible and obtain a great financial advantage. To do so they exploit the soil, mineral resources and cheap labor of such nations.

For this reason, to attract such companies, the governments of semi-colonial countries try to wipe out their labor legislation, taking all the rights they can from the worker, reducing taxes, offering subsidies and handing over all the wealth of the nation into the hands of such companies.

The automaker’s ambitions are so clear that even the president, Bolsonaro, declared that the company took such a measure because it wanted more subsidies. For his part, the mayor, Rodrigo Maia, took advantage of the situation to defend the ‘tax reform’, a measure dictated by the multilateral organizations of imperialism (World Bank) that precisely aims to further facilitate the exploitation of the national market, by foreign imperialist companies.

All the rulers of the various parties that have passed through the plateau never had the intention of developing national industry, technology, science, etc. On the contrary, it has always been preferable for them to deliver all our raw materials on a platter at the price of bananas and then importing the technologies produced through these at exorbitant prices.

All this process strengthens the latifundium and semi-feudalism, because it makes them sell their ‘commodities’ (together with the big bourgeoisie) to these imperialist companies. On the other hand, the vast majority of people, workers, peasants, small and medium bourgeoisie, suffer with the results of deindustrialization, in addition to working without any rights (when they are not thrown into unemployment or ‘informal work’), they also pay a high price by buying industrialized goods that arrive from outside the country; therefore, they do not take advantage of modern and scientific technologies.

This is an unofficial translation of an article published on the A Nova Democracia website on January 14.

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