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Madalena ,  January 10, 2018

Rights of COFACO workers on Pico will be assured, says Gui Menezes

The Regional Secretary for the Sea, Science and Technology assured in Madalena that the Government of the Azores will continue to provide "full support" to the COFACO workers on the island of Pico "so that the company may guarantee their rights."
Gui Menezes spoke on the sidelines of a meeting with the workers of the plant owned by COFACO, where he was accompanied by technicians from the Social Security, the Regional Labour Inspectorate and the Employment Agency.
The Regional Secretary stated that this meeting was "an opportunity to clarify many of the doubts that workers had [about the collective dismissal process]." In this regard, the competent entities in terms of labour matters already have technicians providing full time personalised support full time to these workers.
The government official defended that the collective dismissal is regarded as "one solution among the few available." According to him, "it is up to the Regional Government to ensure that this option is fully complied with and that the rights of workers are safeguarded."
In this meeting, the Regional Secretary stressed that the Government of the Azores "has done everything" to prevent the company from abandoning the island of Pico and encouraged its application for support to the construction of a new plant. He noted that the collective dismissal was an "option taken by the company."
Gui Menezes also stressed that "this is not a bankrupt company," mentioning that this collective dismissal is due to "a moment of transition" with the construction of a new plant to be built in the place where the current one is installed.
Asked about the allocation of public support to this company, the Regional Secretary defended that "it is precisely intended to support companies when they need and, thus, to secure jobs and the economic development of the Region and, in particular, the island of Pico, where this company has a major impact."
Gui Menezes recalled that Azorean canneries "are going through rough times," pointing out the poor catches of bonito in recent years, the context of competitiveness and the costs incurred by these companies while operating in an outermost region.
The Regional Secretary also stated that the workers acknowledged that the plant needed works in order to create "better working conditions," adding that the new plant will have "better quality."
The new plant is also expected to operate in new areas, namely the processing of tuna loins and the processing of tuna for added-value market segments.
The Regional Secretary also stated that the company will continue to invest on Pico as it "recognises the quality of the workers" operating at this plant. This represents "an economic asset," particularly with regard to "the promotion of its products and the efficiency of its production."
The approximately 160 workers of COFACO plant on Pico will remain active until the end of April.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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