Alpargatas footwear giant to face tough times in Brazil and Argentina while firing 15% of employees in one year

South America is being on red alert owing to the critical juncture Alpargatas is currently dealing with. In fact, Brazil’s footwear giant have been remarkably cutting down jobs and productivity for a while at this point. The company has been directly involved in a complex financial deal, which led, last year, to the disinvestment of their capital assets out of JBS. Now Alpargatas are “renovating” their business, especially in Argentina, where they have been dismissing 162 employees in total, in some of their manufacturing plants. For the records, they fired 73 workers in the shoe factory based in Santa Rosa de La Pampa, 68 in Catamarca (32 of them were employed in their textile factory, 36 were working in their shoe factory), 8 in their textile plant located in Bella Vista de Corrientes, 13 in their shoe factory placed in Florencio Varela. In addition to such cuts, summarized by and confirmed by other online newspapers, 51 more employees went into voluntary retirement. Since last year, Alpargatas have been dismissing nearly 500 workers, that is, 15% of their overall work staff. The group currently employ 2,800 people, and manufacture 6 million pairs of shoes a year. Luis Salado, who acts as trade union representative at Tucumàn plant, said: “We actually fear shortage of sales and unfair competition, caused by imports, which increased considerably in 2018 first quarter: that is forcing us to stop production currently underway. In Tucumàn the factory is not working at full speed (55% of its manufacturing capacity), and 1,350 workers make shoes (in fabric and leather) for Topper brand”. A spokesperson of Alpargatas announced that the company’s reorganization (along with subsequent job cuts) hangs on “the company’s commitment to assuring business sustainability, much affected by imports and decreasing sales. That is why we were compelled to bring forward vacation leave, dismiss some employees and urge others to voluntary retirement”.


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