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  HOME | Brazil (Click here for more)

Brazil Forced to Hire Colombian Truckers Due to Labor Shortages

SAO PAULO – Brazilian trucking companies are hiring Colombian truckers due to labor shortages in some areas, such as Parana, a state on the border with Argentina and Paraguay, press reports said Sunday.

Brazil has a shortage of more than 100,000 truckers, with the biggest problems reported in Parana, a big agriculture and trade center, the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper said.

Ten truckers from Colombia have started a training program and nearly 230 other truckers from that country are expected to arrive in Brazil, the Parana Freight Transportation Company Association, or Setcepar, said.

Colombian truckers will earn 40 percent more than they did at home and will receive all the benefits required by law, Setcepar president Gilberto Cantu said.

The training program launched in Parana is expected to spread to other states with shortages of truckers, Cantu said.

About 11,000 truckers have been trained since 2011, but that number is “insufficient” to meet demand, the National Transportation Association, or CNT, said.

A free program has been created to train 50,000 drivers, helping them obtain their licenses and teaching them to operate trucks, the CNT said.

Young people signing up for the program must agree to work for at least two years in the industry, which has been plagued by burnout among truck drivers, who the insurance industry says are responsible for two-thirds of the traffic accidents in Brazil.

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