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Fri, Aug 08, 2008

Embraer Lays Off Employees In Restructuring Effort

Move Surprises Community, Union

Brazilian planemaker Embraer has been seemingly on a roll as of late, with a healthy order book for its larger regional aircraft and on-track development of smaller business-class jets. Apparently, however, not all is well at Embraer's headquarters in Sao Jose dos Campos.

The company confirmed Friday it eliminated some 250 management and administrative jobs this week, as part of a larger restructuring effort.

"Embraer confirms some adjustments in its organizational structure, affecting some management and administrative positions, a process that is common in large industrial organizations," the company said in a statement reported by Reuters. "Embraer informs that it has consolidated its organizational structure by reducing managerial positions and administrative functions, which involved a reduction of around 250 people."

So far, the company has been mum on why the restructuring effort is necessary. The surprise announcement comes one week after Embraer announced it more than doubled its profit in the second quarter of 2008, even in the face of the weak US dollar.

The Sao Jose dos Campos Metalworkers Union has a theory, however, for why Embraer cut what the union says was closer to 500 administrative, engineering and technical positions.

"If there's no crisis, for the Metalworkers Union the only explanation for the layoffs is that Embraer is cutting jobs to further increase its profits," said union president Adilson dos Santos. That sentiment was echoed Thursday by the local O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper.

For the company's part, Embraer will say only that it "continues to move firmly ahead in its growth process and in improving its results, and confirms the aircraft delivery forecasts and economic-financial projections previously announced."

FMI: www.embraer.com

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