Brazil's Embraer negotiates worker buyouts as rivals downsize

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – The world’s No. 3 planemaker Embraer SA (EMBR3.SA) said on Thursday it was negotiating buyouts, signaling likely cuts in its workforce due to the coronavirus pandemic that has hammered the travel industry.

Larger rivals Boeing Co (BA.N) and Airbus (AIR.PA) have each announced plans to cut over 10,000 jobs, although the French planemaker is still negotiating due to government pressure.

Embraer said it is discussing with some of its unions the possibility of offering buyouts for workers who are currently furloughed.

Embraer reached an agreement for a government loan from Brazilian state bank BNDES last month, which among the conditions requires the planemaker to maintain an undisclosed minimum level of employees.

The planemaker said any buyouts would not affect its agreement with BNDES.

The metalworkers union in Sao Jose dos Campos, where Embraer is based, said it opposed the buyouts and that negotiations ended on Thursday without an agreement.

Another meeting with Embraer will be held on Friday, the union said.

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