Americana, one of the nation’s largest retailers, which went into judicial reorganization on the final day 19, yesterday began Staff cuts. The layoffs began in Rio de Janeiro, the headquarters of the company, which was founded by American immigrants in 1927.
The next step should be So Paulo, where the largest number of stores and CDs (distribution centers) of the retailer are concentrated. The cuts should, at this first moment, include indirect employees, but will also be extended to employees hired under the CLT system.
An additional difficulty for the courts was that, in the rush to present their judicial recovery, in order not to freeze receivables by creditor banks, Americana did not include employees in the process. In other words, the amount owed to the dismissed workers cannot enter the judicial reorganization process and must be paid by the company normally. The retailer has about R$43 billion in debt with creditors. There are about 45,000 direct employees and about 60,000 indirect employees.
The Rio de Janeiro Trade Workers’ Federation stated that, as of the beginning of the afternoon, it had not received any information about layoffs in Americana. Along with the central trade unions, the entity announced the convening of a law to defend network workers. The demonstration is scheduled to take place on Friday in Cinelandia, in downtown Rio. On Monday, labor union representatives from across the country met with the Secretary of Labor, Louise Marino, to discuss the effects of Americana’s judicial recovery on workers in the sector.
said Nilton Nico Souza da Silva, representative of the commercial workers at Força Sindical and president of the trade union company Porto Alegre.
We are already aware that layoffs have begun, but the company is not communicating and leaving employees in a state of anxiety.
Nilton Nico Souza da Silva, President of the Porto Alegre Employees Union
The reductions must occur mainly due to the need to close stores. The numbers are uncertain, but there is an expectation that at least 30% of points of sale will close, in order to reduce fixed costs with rent and staff.
The retailer’s latest balance sheet, referring to the third quarter of 2022, indicated a chain with 3,601 points of sale, including Grupo Unico (Imaginarium, Puket, MinD, LoveBrands) and local franchises (which, along with BR Mania stores , part of the joint venture Vem Convenincia, which was dissolved by the Vibra Group in 23). These points, however, do not participate in elimination recovery.
But the vegetable chain Natural da Terra (79 stores), which Americana acquired in November 2021, is in the process of a judicial recovery. In addition, the stores that can be closed belong to the traditional Americanas format (1017 points) and the Americanas Express format (783 points). Together, the two formats together amount to nearly 1.3 million square metres.
Americana has also begun inviting executives in management and board positions to work face-to-face (they’ve been working remotely since the start of the pandemic). The company is banking on the unpopularity of this measure to force the resignation of executives – which will cost the company less, since they are higher-paying positions. Only those in the administrative district will remain in the home office as analysts.
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