SAO PAULO, March 27 Empresa Brasileira de
Correios e Telégrafos (ECT), Brazil's state-run postal service,
is considering laying off as many as 25,000 workers to stem
growing financial losses, newspaper Valor Econômico reported on
The move could set a precedent for other state-controlled
enterprises, which are forbidden by Brazilian law from firing
workers without "just cause" or lengthy disciplinary procedures.
ECT lawyers are analyzing if the company could sidestep that
obligation given its severe financial situation, according to
Valor said ECT Chief Executive Guilherme Campos confirmed
the discussions but declined to say how many workers could be
targeted. Preliminary estimates indicate ECT would need to fire
between 20,000 and 25,000 workers to balance operating expenses,
the paper said without saying how it obtained that information.
Press representatives for ECT were not immediately available
to comment on the report.
Campos told Reuters in January that the postal service
planned to sell some assets this year after posting a loss of 2
billion reais ($641 million) in 2016.
For decades, the Brazilian government has nominated
politicians to senior ECT roles as a bargaining chip, exerting
additional pressure on its swelling payroll while demand for
physical postage was falling rapidly.
In January, ECT offered a voluntary buyout program to 14,000
of its 117,500 employees, aimed at saving up to 1 billion reais.
According to Valor, only 5,500 workers joined the program,
disappointing management expectations of around 8,000 cuts.
($1 = 3.12 reais)
(Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Editing by Andrea Ricci)