June 3, 2020 / 10:10 PM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Brazil court orders meatpacker JBS to rehire indigenous workers

(Adds detail, background)

By Ana Mano

SAO PAULO, June 3 (Reuters) - Meatpacker JBS SA has been ordered by a judge to rehire indigenous workers fired from a slaughterhouse in the state of Santa Catarina last month, according to an injunction seen by Reuters on Wednesday.

“The dismissals were discriminatory,” Labor Judge Adilton Detoni said in the decision

In addition to ordering that the workers be rehired, he ordered the payment of salaries from the day they were laid off until they are reinstated.

JBS, which declined to comment on the injunction, confirmed on Tuesday firing 40 indigenous workers from its plant in the town of Seara on May 6, citing a decision to discontinue a bus service that brought them to the plant everyday.

The company has denied any discrimination against the indigenous workforce.

JBS said it employs 3,700 people at the plant, including 200 indigenous workers from surrounding areas.

Detoni’s ruling also determined JBS should quarantine the indigenous workers, as foreseen in an ordinance issued on May 12 by Santa Catarina state authorities related to measures to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus at meatpackers in the state.

Under the ordinance, meatpackers are under obligation to send workers from risk groups on paid leave, including indigenous employees, pregnant women, people over 60 years old and workers with pre-existing diseases. (Reporting by Ana Mano Editing by Chris Reese and Leslie Adler)

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