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Ford concludes sale, but future of the São Bernardo plant is still uncertain

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São Paulo – One year after the closing, on Saturday (31) Ford confirmed the completion of the São Bernardo do Campo plant. In addition to the construction company São José, the unit located in the Taboão neighborhood is now owned by Fram Capital, a fund manager. It is not yet known what will be done at the site. The ABC Metalworkers Union, which follows the negotiation, is waiting for the resumption of productive activity.

The amounts were not disclosed, but it is estimated that they were close to R $ 550 million. In a note, Ford’s president in South America, Lyle Watters, says it was the best alternative for the region. According to the automaker, the measure (closure) adopted by Ford for the sale of the São Bernardo plant was “an important milestone in the return to sustainable profitability of its operations” in the region.

The company announced the end of activities in São Bernardo in February last year. Thereafter, the metallurgists began a campaign to reverse the decision, including a trip to the United States to talk to management. But Ford did not go back and gradually ended its activities, until it was left with only part of the administrative staff.

At the time, there were approximately 4,300 employees at the ABC unit, with 1,500 outsourced. The factory, the oldest Ford in operation in Brazil (since 1967), produced cars and trucks.

The last assembly of the unit’s employees was held on October 29, 2019. It lasted exactly 78 minutes. It was an assembly marked by the year in which the automaker completed its centenary in Brazil. The North American multinational closed the following day, October 30, its activities at the São Bernardo plant. It was a factory acquired in 1967, and passed through at least 100 thousand workers, according to Rafael Marques, former president of the Metalworkers Union.

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Economy

Book addresses transformations in rap through changes in society

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São Paulo – Society undergoes several changes, year after year, be it culturally, in its forms of organization, and even in new working methods. These transformations influence other segments, including Hip-Hop, rap and their MC battles. In view of this, social scientist Felipe Oliveira Campos, known as Felipe Choco, launched the book Rap, Culture and Politics: Battle of the Matrix and the Aesthetics of Entrepreneurial Overcoming, which addresses the digital and marketing influence within this culture.

A member of the Center for Studies and Research of Afro-America (Nepafro), Choco analyzes contemporary society using the Battle of the Matrix held in São Bernardo do Campo as a pillar since 2013, and considered a reference in the duel between MCs. The resistance of the event, the target of police repression and municipal administration, was the starting point for the author.

“When I face the Battle of the Matrix, it poses a number of questions that can be deepened, being able to understand it beyond the context of battles, as public spaces in cities”, he explains. “When the Battle of the Matrix emerged, I was part of the Hip-Hop Forum of São Bernardo do Campo, and mediated conflicts with the Government. Therefore, I realized that the conflicts that the battle created when occupying the public space, raised questions of general interest. So I used the Battle of the Matrix as a way to understand contemporary Brazil, ”added Choco.

In 2018, RBA reported the repression suffered by the battle of ABC Paulista. At the time, the management of the mayor of São Bernardo do Campo, Orlando Morando (PSDB), tried to “boycott” the traditional rap event in the city, by charging a fee for using the Praça da Matrix, in the city center. At various times, rapper Emicida went to the site to support young people.

Social transformations

While society sees new forms of organization, rap also adapts to these changes. The writer compares the professionalization of artists and battles to the industrialization of the city of São Bernardo do Campo and Posse Hausa, a black organization founded in the 1990s, focused on the Hip-Hop movement, whose majority of the members were workers in the ABC industry Paulista.

With the 2017 labor reform, by then President Michel Temer (MDB-SP), Felipe Choco explains that the social dynamics have also changed within the Hip-Hop culture. “Today, the organizers of the Battle of the Matrix are part of the service sector, without stability and without social protection. Therefore, the financial solution, among the organizers, was the professionalization of the event. This applies to the whole culture. ”

The main example used by the author of these social and economic transformations in rap is Emicida’s career. Coming from the Battle of Santa Cruz, disputed south of São Paulo, the rapper emerged using the main method of rhyming duels: the punchlines – in Portuguese, punch lines, used to impress the listener.

After the success, the rapper created his own musical label: Laboratório Fantasma. “Emicida created a horizon to organize its own career, without having to go through the distributors’ screen. In other words, it is the democratization of music production, distribution and consumption ”, said Choco, who recalls that the book’s presentation is signed by the MC.

Aesthetics of entrepreneurial overcoming

Based on the phenomenon achieved by Emicida, the social scientist points to the creation of a new aesthetic within rap: that of entrepreneurial overcoming. According to him, this aspect allows creative freedom and financial autonomy, creating a style of business organization.

“This overcoming does not mean denying the culture’s past, but advancing in the market sense, creating a mark around the artist”, he explained. The author quotes a statement by Mano Brown, a member of Racionais, where the rapper points out that the phonographic market is no longer just the commercialization of music, but also the image and positioning of MCs.

This aesthetic creates a new notion of work and organization, according to the author. “If we make a parallel with the industrial market, in the 1990s, work was in opposition to capital, where the organization of the workforce sought its valorization. Now, in the face of informality and the imposition that ‘each one is an entrepreneur of their own’, artists become their own business capital ”, he reiterates.

However, this entrepreneurial resilience does not only involve rappers and new independent labels, but also affects the battles of MCs, including the Matrix. With the rise of streaming platforms such as YouTube, duels have become more digital, have reached new audiences and created a new market.

“The Battle of the Matrix is ​​a product of that condition that battles have become. Before the pandemic, every Tuesday, she mobilized 1,000 people in the square. Battles play a fundamental role in mutations and reinventions of culture, as was the case with punchline, taking a new breath in how to make and organize rap. These changes that occur in rap did not come out of nowhere, they are the result of social transformations ”, concludes Felipe.

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