Espacios. Vol. 37 (Nº 23) Año 2016. Pág. 31

Frontier in capital: New qualifying challenges for industrial workers of Polo Manauas - Amazonas

Frontera en capital: Desafíos de una nueva cualificación para los trabajadores industriales de Polo Manauas - Amazonas

Luciana de Lima PEREIRA 1; Selma Suely Bacal de OLIVEIRA 2

Recibido: 13/04/16 • Aprobado: 15/05/2016


1. Introduction

2. Brief history of Manaus Free Trade Zone

3. The Brazilian and Regional Capitalism

4. The Industries in Manaus Industrial Pole

5. PIM Education hiring requirements

6. Final considerations



This text was produced having as support the research developed in the Masters Degree Course in Education of the Federal University of Amazonas. It discusses the capital chargings to the unemployed worker from Manaus Industrial Pole and it reveals why so much knowledge and qualifications are required from the workers in Manaus Industrial Pole, still that to occupy positions that require the execution of routine tasks, often with very low pay. The survey was conducted with laid-off workers of Electrical and Electronic Sector from Manaus Industrial Pole (MIP - PIM) and it aims to know what these workers have done from the educational standpoint to regain employment through the identification of knowledge that was required from workers, according to the demands that the post exercised in the company require. Thus, it discusses the unemployment and the qualification starting from the look of unemployed workers, with their tireless investments in qualification to return to the active board of employees for companies in the daily struggle for survival.
Keywords: Labour; Unemployment; Professional Qualification


Este texto fue producido teniendo como apoyo una investigación desarrollada en la Licenciatura Maestría en Educación de la Universidad Federal de Amazonas. Se analizan las recargas de capital para el trabajador en paro en el polo industrial de Manaus y revela por qué los trabajadores requieren muchos conocimientos y cualificación en la zona industrial de Manaus, para ocupar posiciones que requieren la ejecución de las tareas de rutina, a menudo, muy mal pagadas . La encuesta se llevó a cabo con los trabajadores despedidos del sector eléctrico y electrónico industrial de Manaus (PIM - PIM) y su objetivo es saber lo que estos trabajadores han hecho desde el punto de vista educativo para recuperar el empleo a través de la identificación del conocimiento que se requiere de los trabajadores , de acuerdo con las exigencias que el cargo ejercido en la empresa requiere. Por lo tanto, se discute el desempleo y la calificación a partir de la mirada de los trabajadores en paro, con sus incansables inversiones en la cualificación para volver a los cargos activos de las empresas, en la lucha diaria por la supervivencia.
Palabras clave: Trabajo; Desempleo; Cualificación profesional

1. Introduction

Numerous are the impositions of capital to the employee, the need for more formal education, and qualification for employment are words that permeate the discourses of entrepreneurs and social media. Nothing proves, however, that higher level of education, qualification or endowment courses, improve substantially the earners wage; often in the areas of automatic insertion, the downsizing of the staff of the companies is accompanied by the reduction of wages by hiring new employees at lower wages which is facilitated by the existence of large labor force reserve in the Manaus Free Zone, Electrical-Electronic Polo and also the overload of work for workers who remain employed (OLIVEIRA, 2007; 2009).

It is observed that the factory floor worker (usually the ones from the assembling lines), who works in the Manaus Industrial Pole (PIM), is easily trainable and replaceable, so being a workforce much cheaper. The know-how of the process of material production belongs to the leadership (management) or is embodied in machines. In this regard, the relationship with the knowledge totality to the construction of the goods by the working class in the production of the PIM process is estrangement, since labor remains in installments (SALAZAR, 1992; OLIVEIRA, 2000; CHESNAIS, 2008).

2. Brief history of Manaus Free Trade Zone

The Manaus Free Trade Zone (MFTZ - ZFM), on February 28, 1967, based on tax incentives, by the law decree 288, brought new perspectives to the distant Manaus labor market. Entering a capitalist model of production in the region it attracted investment from many companies, provided the coming of numerous multinationals who brought technological innovations for the production and technicians from other parts of the country and abroad. Thus, a new cycle of economic activities in the region restarts after the decline of the rubber boom. Moreover, consolidates another form of restructuring of the capitalist system.

Silva (1997) considers that the implementation of the project Manaus Free Trade Zone was the death blow to the possibility of an independent national capitalism. The adoption of the model took place after the study of the model of other free zones present in Peru (in Iquitos), and the study of Foreign Trade Zones in New York, New Orleans, the statutes of European free ports of Trieste and Hamburg, and several parallel initiatives in Panama, Chile, Argentina and Mexico, and the need to offer the region a pole of development.

For the author, the implementation of the Free Trade Zone Project in Manaus, modified customs and practices, altered sense of time and space, it created a new ethos, transforming Indians, mestizos, farmers and collectors in workers at the Industrial District (SILVA 1997, p.36-39).

Valle (2007) adds that before the implementation of the Manaus Free Trade Zone, there were traditional segment of industries linked to extractive activities like rubber, nuts, sip, rosewood, essential oils and vegetables among others, but the modern model that had settled in the region in the decade 70 contributed to dismantling the traditional sector.

Mourao (2006, 2009), emphasizes that the implementation of the Free Trade Zone was a response of the Brazilian State to the problem of backwardness of the region, and it could not have been conceived only on the grounds of National Integration formulated by the Military Government, as it was characterized in a moment of the productive sector expansion of durable consumer goods in search of 'islands' that act as tax heavens as well.

Oliveira (2001), when reporting on installation of the Manaus Trade Free Zone, said that while most of the intellectuals who evaluated the practical effects of the installation of the Free Zone, were committed to the model, the most critical intellectuals, sought to demystify the process of capitalist expansion in the new International Division of Labor.

In the seek to understand how to manifest the invested capital in the global context labor moving to the national and regional levels with the implementation of a Free Trade Zone and an Industrial Pole in the Amazon Forest, is has as answer the search for capital by less developed capitalist countries, with more inexperienced work force with little training for work in the industry and low level of trade union organization (OLIVEIRA, 2000.2007; MOURÃO, 2006, 2009; Harvey 1992; OLIVEIRA, 2001; SILVA, 1997; SALAZAR, 1992).

With the development of the Manaus Free Trade Zone (ZFM), the city suffered a bump, because besides the inhabitants of the interior, many people from other states came in search of better life, resulting in worsening social problems, thickening the periphery layer, forcing the state to invest in the city structure, so the Industrial Pole also brought rapid economic and demographic growth, thus ending a long process of slow social change, the result of over half a century of decline and regional economic stagnation.

Valle (2007) states that "[...] the migration process to Manaus intensified with the creation of the Manaus Free Trade Zone features two combined movements: emptying of the Amazonian interior and 'swelling' population of the state capital" (p.134). What Botelho (2006) concludes that it would be better to have them stayed in their places of origin.

There were significant changes in the city, including the ones in socio-cultural nature that Salazar (1992) elaborates that for manauaras socio-cultural changes that have taken place are a much greater extent, the result of impositions of capitalism rather than a personal choice, in his view there was imposition of language, fashion and food that altered the culture of Manaus people.

Mourao (2006, 2009) based on Salazar (1992) mentions at least three phases of the ZFM, the first is characterized by freedom of importations, with high inflation, Brazilian tourists came to shop here. There was also a growing rural exodus to the state capital, and now not only the state emptied, but also a large number of northeastern Brazil immigrants come to seek a better life.

3. The Brazilian and Regional Capitalism

Antunes (2006) states that Brazilian capitalism is hyper-late. It was in the twentieth century that it experienced a genuine process of industrial accumulation, taking off in 1930 and subsequently with Juscelino Kubitschek, in the mid-50s, whose next growth spurt was mainly experienced during the Getulismo (Getulio Vargas's age) from the 1964 coup, when there was Brazil's industrialization and internationalization processes accelerated, before the periods mentioned the author points out that the industry was an appendix in the accumulation within the coffee export landmarks. During the economic miracle (1968-1973) the country was under the binomial: dictatorship and accumulation, squeeze and expansion, whose industrial accumulation was structured through the 'exploitation' of the labor force with low wages, long working hours, where at one point it was even mentioned among the eight major industrial powers (p.16,17).

In the 80s, there were the first impulses of the Brazilian process of productive restructuring, which led to the adoption of new organizational and technological standards in the companies, also starting a new social organization of work due to the need for increased productivity. Stepped into the Brazilian production process computerization systems, just-in-time and kanban, teamwork was highlighted, the total quality, quality control circles, in this period,  microelectronics becomes blurred and there is a significant reduction in the number of workers (ANTUNES, 2006, p.17,18).

The Manaus Free Trade Zone industry characteristics, in the 80s were the high concentration in production/assembly of durable consumer goods, manufactured through the use of advanced technologies and ongoing transformation process. The industrial park of Manaus since its implementation showed a strong trend towards specialization in some segments, particularly the Electro-electronics, making it the main producer/assembler center of a variety of electronic products. In the late 80s, about 30% of the companies installed in Manaus belonged to the electronics sector and accounted for 70% of total PIM revenues, the Industrial Pole of Manaus until this time found itself oblivious to the organizational and technological changes taking place and due to this, there was no reduction in the quantity of workers.

Pochmann (1999) adds that in the last decades of the nineteenth century, the second industrial and technological revolution emerged, with more complex processes of technology and production, which "[...] demanded a higher concentration of capital and favored the internationalization of large companies "(p.31).

It is noteworthy that it was in the 90s, the productive restructuring of capital developed in fact, with the implementation of several features for increased productivity arising from flexible accumulation and the Japanese production model includes up to new processes, forms subcontracting and outsourcing, and even the transfer of plants and production units. There was an interest in the blend of informational equipment and the 'qualified', 'multi-purpose', 'multifunctional 'workforce, that was able to operate the equipment coming from modern economies, however, earning salaries lower than those achieved by the advanced economies. The work was well under the baton of flexibility (Antunes, 2006 p.18, 19).

Baçal (2010) adds the wave of privatizations that lasted throughout the 1990s, and according to the author, has not ended yet. It emphasizes the implementation of the state's role that is no longer funding, especially policies in social areas, to be a kind of evaluator (p.159, 160).

In the 1990s, according Baçal (2010) "[...] most of the Manaus Industrial Pole's workers received dismissal without any reasonable reason, due to management process oriented to a constant fluctuation of employees and by constant process of staff expenditure restraint [...] ". The Toyotism with its assumptions of 'fat elimination' had come to the region (p.170).

Valle (2007) states that the 90s, with [...] the dismantling of the development pact revealed by trade liberalization and the end of state protectionism exposed the Brazilian industries and in particular those based in Manaus, the strong international competition [...]. There was rationalization of production costs and intensification of the process of automation of the PIM industries, acquisition and renovation of machinery and equipment in order to improve production quality. The author reiterates that this combination of measures was crucial to the reduction and elimination of many jobs in the Industrial Pole of Manaus (p.142, 143).

Such measures [...] resulted in the demobilization and reduction of research and development engineering teams and thus retraction of adaptation activities, nationalization and redesign, limiting the sources of technological learning in the areas of technology [...] . (VALLE, 2007, p. 151).

Manaus, in 1999 had a GDP (R$ 1,000) of R$ 11,337,538.4, but in 2010, the GDP (R$ 1,000) rose to R $ 48,598,153.2, whose GDP per capita in 2010 was R $ 26,961.15. As the sixth largest GDP among the country's capitals. The capital still has as its main share of GDP, the performance of the industries, which at current prices is of 200,940.44 thousand reais followed by the services sector with 189,319.87 thousand reais and the agricultural sector with 161,120 million reais. (IBGE, in partnership with state statistical agencies, state departments of government and SUFRAMA).

The neighborhoods that are home to the Industrial District located part in the East Zone (1.034, 72ha) and part of the South Zone (258,67ha) according to the ordinance 2924 of 08/07/1995. The Manaus Industrial Pole - PIM embodies around 600 companies, of which a little over 150 correspond to the electronics industry. The PIM has as its leader the electronics sector.

4. The Industries in Manaus Industrial Pole

The predominant profile of the industries installed in the PIM, in general, as those of fragmented production processes, low reliance on local production inputs, low fixed investments. They are heavily dependent companies of parts and components of the international market and little invests locally in research and development (R&D).

The companies are predominantly characterized as automakers. With regard to the capacity of labor absorption, generation of employment and income for the state of Amazonas, but the strongest contradiction that this sector presents, sits on top of labor turnover rate, against the national characteristics of the job profile.

As for the sales of capitals in relation to other industrial sectors of PIM, the electronics sector accounted for 33.28% of total industrial turnover in other sectors as shown by the graph No. 2. Being the sector responsible for generating 47.208 jobs in 2012.

Albeit with growing revenues, and extensive job creation, the electronics sector lives to adjust itself to capitalist forms of production, therefore, it constantly restructures, and the most drastic consequences, as they have been the maximum of the capitalist system, are passed on to the worker as we can observe in the numbers of table no. 1:





















Source: SUFRAMA – Coordination of Socio-Economical Information COISE/CGPRO/SAP. Table organized by the researcher.

Scherer (2005) states that although Brazil has historically coexisted with unemployment was in the 1990s, with the modernization and restructuring process that unemployment rates have reached unprecedented levels. The author states that, in this period, there is a growth of the informal market at the expense of reduction of working with a formal contract and 60% of Brazilian workers step into the branch of informality. Between 1990 and 1993 the Manaus Free Trade Zone goes through its worst crisis, thus, 26.300 workers are laid off and production units transferred to other parts of the country. The neoliberal onslaught progresses, and as an example of this, there has been the Law of Temporary Agreement, approved in 1998, under the government of Fernando Henrique Cardoso.

In 1990, there were 76.798 workers employed. In the following decade, in the early of 2000s the job posts were 44.519, being excluded from the production process almost 32.279 workers (SCHERER, 2005, p.59, 60).

There was a linear increase of expansion of jobs from 2000 to 2008. This growth was according to Oliveira (2009) mainly due to hand-absorbing work by computer companies and two wheels companies that settled in Manaus. The electronics sector in 1990 absorbed 45.283 workers, and by 2000, the number decreased significantly to 25.870 (SCHERER, 2005), in 2010 the work force absorbed by the PIM after its recovery stood at 42.733.

Scherer (2005) notes as the formal employment falls, the number of unregistered workers grows, and, despite finding themselves far from the factory floor, they work on the flow production of all kinds, that are the sub-proletariats from the informal market (p .74-79). Baçal (2010) points out that with the growth of the industrial sector, the other sectors of Manaus grow in cascading effect.

The economic crisis of 2008 had negative repercussions for the sector, resulting in significant reduction in employment levels from the year 2008 to 2009, reheating from 2010 to 2012. Botelho (2006) amid the 1990 crisis, even claimed that the ZFM project was not identified as abundant workforce employer and could no longer have this maxim adopted as a political discourse, since that modern production in the search for greater competitiveness, automate their processes, and delete jobs.

Thus, unemployment and the economic, political and social transformations as well occurred in the world are also fruits of the crisis experienced by capitalism over the years. Under the logic of added value maximizing, the great capital seeks to overcome these crises, by adopting measures to reach the world's perverse way of working. Among the measures adopted, the flexibility of production processes seem to intensify job insecurity, exclusion of workers in the formal market and the weakening of the labor movement (Vieira, 2003).

The capitalist system in its structure, according to Frigotto (1996), contemplates crises, so 'the crisis is a constituent and structural element of the cyclical movement of capitalist accumulation'. Antunes (2010) explains that "[...] several advanced capitalist countries saw declining full-time jobs, in parallel they have seen an increase in forms of sub-proletariatization, through the expansion of partial, precarious, temporary, subcontractors workers etc." (p.50).

As the current stage of capitalism has no way to absorb all workers, education becomes the path taken for the integration and upward social mobility, an ideological reversal, considering that the value of the individual is measured by their willingness to educate and not by their link to a job. It can be said that education does not ensure the benefits of paid employment, as it is an uncertain and long-term 'investment', that alone does not guarantee positions in the labor market. The insertion or not of the individual will depend on the articulation of their freedom of choice with the demands of the labor market, to this extent, their individualism and freedom bring them closer to the insecurity and not of autonomy (Arruda, 2011, p.126).

All the way to change social ills lies today on education as only education for education were able to change the social structures and qualify effectively workers. What is often not unveiled is the fact that education in a capitalist society is to be governed to molds of economic processes.

The capital with its new labor and production management measures requires greater flexibility, adaptation and a willingness to give in to production processes of the employed workforce, so it now can make use of multiple uses of work ability, developing the worker's multi-functionality and versatility, which were not a Taylorist-Fordist concern, and then, they have become a prerequisite for increased mobility of the workforce, becoming then able to be moved to stations, machines, functions and to other several sectors, further intensifying their work even more (Souza 2011, p.26).

There is an emptying in the sense of qualification, and the school as an educational institution coexists with the ideals of international and national literature, emanating from the market interests, submissive to capital, and because they often do not have clarity of its identity and turns out to take the concept of competence in their closer interpretation to what production dictates.

With the advent of Toyotist production model there were not only changes in the content, but also in the way of work. While some argued that it was a more qualifying perspective, because of the flexible models required the development of critical and reflective attitudes for work in general and not for a specific function, the critical analysis socially committed, proposed a debate on the qualifications with a view to the redemption of men as subjects of the knowledge construction process and labor relations, including their materiality and enhancing the worker's emancipation (Ramos, 2001 p.56, 57).

The fight according to Alves (2011) is also set in the worker's subjective field, as the Toytist flexibility incorporates in a more intense way the working subjectivity to capital appreciation process than the strictness that the Fordist model did. The worker's subjectivity is reconfigured and reclaimed by capital.

Although qualification is no guarantee of employability, as the market ideologically proclaims, yet the worker who is unemployed takes the blame for not entering or re-entering into the labor market, relieving the exclusionary social system of from the responsibility for unemployment of broad layers of workers.

Qualifying for professions that due to the new market demand can no longer exist, must be rethought not for a change in the qualifications but rather to changes in the current economic organization. This social organization is so perverse that subtracts from the horizon of young workers, the long-term idea, and planning, therefore, there is no long-term employment idea, as we live in a social recession (Frigotto, 2012).

Pochmann (1999) states that the Brazilian context for businesses is easier to dismiss unqualified and hire staff with higher qualifications than qualify the ones who are already employed, given that the employer has increasing conditions of opting for a continuous selection process for better skilled workforce through the hiring and firing of workers.

Pochmann (1999) points out that the social costs in Brazil are not as high as they been reported by various studies of traditional character. He points out that the proportion of costs paid by the employer is around 25.10%, while the conventional legal methods state that are over 100%. The author adds that, to reach 100%, we should add to traditional counting the rates of social security contributions to the financing of activities done by administrator organs.

In Table 2, about the PIM labor – Electrical-electronic sector - we can glimpse that from 2008 to the first quarter of 2012, in the electronics sector were hired and fired on average per year, respectively:






































Source: SUFRAMA- Coordination of Socio-Economical Information COISE/CGPRO/SAP. Table organized by the researcher.

The data presented demonstrate the high turnover of workers in Electronics industries in the city of Manaus. The trend has continued since the studies were conducted in the late 80s and 90s whose rotation policy has been denounced by several authors including: Salazar (1992); Oliveira, (2000); (2007); Scherer (2005); Valle (2007). The field research with 610 dismissed workers who completed the questionnaires shows that such turnover is true not only for unfair dismissal, but also by free enterprise worker that when qualified can climb higher wages migrating from company to company. High turnover is also justified by the terms of temporary contracts: when the industry warming hire-workers and after periods of high demand, these same workers are dismissed, being rehired by other companies when the production process reheat.

During the data collection, some workers came to say that there were consumer electronics companies that hired only for short-term (less than three months) that it should not generate any employment link, and after this period, the company would dismiss them. As the companies needed already trained workforce, they soon hired these workers again, generating even more uncertainty to the worker in this cycle of expropriation of their workforce, without offering any job security.

 Pochmann (1999) points out that "[...] the high turnover rate indicates the quantitative flexibility of the labor market. That is, the enormous ease of disruption of employment contracts and the relatively short residence time of employees in the same company". When compared the rate of workforce turnover with the other from other economies, we can clearly realize Brazils superiority of turnover, the author also states "[...] the enormous facilities of hiring and dismissing of workforce in the country contribute to the turnover rates become very high" (p.97, 176).

Vasapollo (2006) acknowledges that the current situation of the labor market is pushing more and more workers to precariousness, which before the Fordist system proposed to provide: full and open-ended contracts, in the current system, most workers have a short-term contract, which is for the workers makes prevail insecurity and lack of prospects (p.49-52).

5. PIM Education hiring requirements

As for the basic requirement for effective contract of the companies, the survey conducted with the PIM unemployed workers, notes that they focus primarily on the high-school certificate presentation, a percentage of 68% of female workers and 56% of male workers had completed this level at school. Representing the great mass contracted and easily dismissed from the PIM-Electro-electronics sector. It is relevant to observe that 14% of workers were enrolled at a college or university and 4% of these female workers have completed higher education. Whereas, a percentage of 16% of workers were still at college/ university, 11% of these workers had already got the certification of this level of education at the time of their dismissal.

Scherer (2005) states that the "[...] level of education and age are key factors at the time of the 'low' in the portfolio and also at the time of hiring" (p.73). However, we must analyze the fact that nowadays it is required a worker's profile who is each day more qualified (increasingly educated) and younger, which constitute the largest percentage of dismissal in the PIM – Electric–Electronics sector. Because of this, laid-off workers with only primary education both men and women, appear in the search in a low percentage, since they hire very few professionals with this level of education.

The field research notes that in the PIM - Electro-electronics sector, male workers who attended or had completed a university course, were a lesser percentage compared to female workers. The factor that justifies this inequality between men and women workers from PIM Electro-electronics sector is mainly due to the fact that women who were once fired used to work in the "plant floor' (assembling line), for which having the high school educational level was the only requirement.

Through the quantitative survey data, it was observed that the workers dismissed from the PIM-Electro-electronics sector, at most, used to earn between 1-2 minimum wages, out of 79% of research participants, 35% were female, and 44 % male. Valle (2007) points out that: [...] The boom of industrial development was not accompanied by the expansion of the salary paid to the Amazon worker, impacting negatively on the living conditions of those who depend directly or indirectly on industrial employment [... ] (p.127). To Lessa and Tonet (2008), [...] the salary expresses how much it costs to the capitalist system, the reproduction of the labor force, but it does not express the real human needs of those who are exercising the position for this salary [... ] (p.99).

The remuneration is thus established by the market and not by the actual individual needs. What matters is the capitalist profit, although some calamities such as hunger, ignorance, homelessness, lack of medical care have to be maintained. Contradictory is to think that despite the increasing ability to produce food, provide universal education, to build houses and provide health acting proactively, the capital subject will act even to the detriment of human needs being incorrigible.

The positions held by the female interviewed workers are assemblers (working manual components insertion in industrial production line, professionals who receive one of the lowest wages in the production process); production assistant (working replacing the assembler in her absence); welding assistant (working with welding equipment); warehouse assistant (working on components and equipment stocking area). Such positions account for about 60% of the female workers interviewed.

The remaining female workers exercised the function of: testers (responsible for verifying the operation of the assembled equipment); reviser (worker who performs the final check of the product); machine operator (worker who operates automatic insertion equipment components); quality inspector (working with technical instruction responsible for endorsing the quality of the product); logistics supervisor (worker who records the exits and entrances to parts of the manufacturing sector).

The demanded knowledge and attitude from these female workers are: attention, agility, care, knowledge of assembly and components, computer basic notion; how to read components course; dedication, readiness to work for very long hours and in shifts too early in the day; skill; strength, vitality; responsibility; leadership; good communication and above all: never let the machine stop. In the opinion of these workers, the positions that in fact needed more schooling were: leadership, management, quality management, supervising, and engineering.

The research confirms the findings of Oliveira (2007); Mourao (2006) and Valle (2007) that the managers; managements, as well as the best paid positions in the PIM electronics companies, are the positions filled almost entirely by professionals from other states in Brazil. This demonstrates the underutilization of the intellectual and technical potential of Amazonas, as well as some local investment in effective preparation of personnel.

Ferretti (2008) points out well that what happens is only marginal incorporation of the worker forward to productive modernization, this way, he said the demands for the educational field to prepare for modernization, which according to the author is only superficial, could be easily met by recycling within their own companies. He reaffirms that education cannot be dealt as a secondary need (p.8-18).

As for the positions held by male workers are: assemblers (worker manual components insertion in industrial production line, professionals who receive low wages in the production process); manufacturing assistant (worker who assists the assembler); maintenance (building maintenance workers); assembly supervisor (employee responsible for checking the effectiveness of the work on the assembly line); inventory control assistant (worker who assists the exits and entrances of parts for the manufacturing sector); civil construction (worker who performs building maintenance); shipping and loading (worker who performs transport and exit of the company's goods); reviewer (worker who performs the final check of the product). It should be highlighted that to perform such activities it was enough to present some schooling qualification with emphasis on high school, attention, agility, computer basic notion, courses in the assembly area and reading components, availability, and physical fitness.

For the positions of: logistics management (worker that records the exits and entrances to parts of the manufacturing sector, organizes spreadsheets); electronics technician (technician who exchanges equipment defective parts); electrical technician (building maintenance worker in the electrical area); technical leader (worker who heads the technical product measurement sector and performs minor corrections); engineer (employee responsible for the smooth handling of machinery); automatic insertion machine operator (worker who operates automatic insertion equipment components); engineering technician (worker who assists in the engineering sector); quality inspector (worker with technical instruction responsible for endorsing the quality of the product); surveyor (technician who performs detailed description of a space). These workers either had technical courses, were graduate students, or had certification in both (technical and college/university degree).

In workers' reports, knowledge and attitudes that were demanded from them focused on: electricity or mechanical knowledge, supporting and maintaining the production line, knowing the working process, performing boards repair, knowing how to fix and correct understanding of screwdriver tools, having good visual skills, knowledge in digital electronics, technical course in logistics, expertise, agility, having technical knowledge, English language, good interpersonal skills, having experience and extensive knowledge, having basic courses in mechanics, electronics or computer skills, having courses also in the areas of: assembly, automation, keep the assembling line working and showing willingness to learn, performing assembling orientation, initiative and leadership.

The PIM-Electro-electronics sector workers have increased the level of education; this factor was primarily driven by the preferences for hiring workers with higher education level. The research in its qualitative character points out that a percentage of 30% of the dismissed workers were enrolled in higher education and a percentage of 15% had already completed this educational level. It is important to highlight that the formations usually occur in private institutions subsidized by public funds. This shows unequal access to higher and free education for the more popular classes. The survey signals through dialogue with workers that they step into in private institutions of higher education because they face the college entrance tests, as well as the emptying of content offered in high school and lack of professionals hired to teach classes for different subjects, and yet in fact that they step into the labor market before completing their high school education, due to the need to provide or assist in family income.

Only 20% of interviewed workers, who take courses offered by the companies where they worked, ensured that promotions after taking in training occurred, whose promotions, according to them, were held through tests applied inside the factory. They have also confirmed that promotions were given more for recommendation than the acquired knowledge; revealing the PIM-Electro-electronics sector strong trend to request recommendations not only for recruitment but also for promotions. Other workers said they received a promotion more by the fact that they could perform the work quickly and with attention than through the courses offered by the company. Considering that, speed and attention are prerequisites to factory work.

It is worth highlighting that, depending on the machinery and the component to be produced, the worker to be fired and rehired by another company, may or may not meet trained for the new operation, because what changes is not only the work environment but also, the machines, albeit for assembly of the same product but of a different brand.

It is noticed that the courses that workers have undergone in the manufacturing environment have been treated over a simple instruction for the implementation of daily work, than filled with significant content in fact to the worker's full qualification.

The workers' responses converge to Oliveira's analyzes (2007) with regard to machinery [...] most of times when the company buys a machine, this comes with a package that includes the technical staff training for management and operation [...]. Unemployed workers also claim that, when making some investment in personnel is more to enable better management of the piece of machinery. The courses offered by the company are done at non-working hours. Both in the answers provided in this survey of workers that have been made redundant as in Oliveira's research (2007), it was observed that: [...] most of the workers are looking to improve their professional skills on their own, as they believe that this will ensure their current job to be kept [...] (p.99). The concept of employability is present in the subjectivity of workers.

Oliveira (2007) describes that: [...] if the case of automatic insertion industry, for example, the workers who work with the component insertion machines only trigger commands to place the machine in operation; at best, they power the equipment [...] the author recognizes that lack qualifications needed to correct complex defects and program those machines (p.75,76). What Ciavatta (2005) define as a modern industrial process company, which although with high science, simplifies the work process and reduces the worker to a simple machine operator (p.127).

Research in qualitative input also shows that, workers aspire to make numerous investments in courses and to increase their level of education, but they are conditioned by the employment and unemployment factors, opportunities and directions.

6. Final considerations

The research results demonstrate that qualification is no guarantee of employability, the guilt is attributed to the individuals and it is often assumed by the employee, that is not justified, given that even more qualified, the employee remains in a constant juggling to keep his job. His job is also threatened by many other factors as systemic crisis, downsizing, plant closures, production and low demand, temporary contracts expiring without being renewed or executed, among others.

The reflections proposed are instructive, but not conclusive, since it is put to the education professionals the challenge of not only understand the origins of these re-education demands but also take class party, not constituting a mere preparation instrument of workforce, but providing emancipatory educational conditions for workers, to the point that they are able to understand and modify the content of their work, creating other possibilities for the Amazon region, and providing that the achievements of humanity become accessible to all population. The struggle for a society beyond the capital, where the resources and achievements of humankind have their focus on the men, and the development of their potential and not the subject capital is still ongoing.


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1. Master in Education from UFAM in 2013. Professor of the Municipal Education - SEMED.
2. PhD in Education from the University of São Paulo, Professor at the Faculty of Education and in the Post graduation (Master and Doctorate) courses in Education at UFAM.

Revista Espacios. ISSN 0798 1015
Vol. 37 (Nº 23) Año 2016


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