EMBRAER'S EMPLOYEES have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a new labour contract, which the Brazilian manufacturer says will improve manufacturing costs on the EMB-120 and the new EMB-145 50-seat regional jet.

The agreement involves the loss of 350 administrative and support jobs, while production workers will take a 10% wage cut over the next six months, alongside an equivalent cut in working hours.

Chairman Mauricao Novis Botelho says that, without the agreement, another 800 administrative jobs would have been lost at the group, which was privatised at the end of 1994.

Embraer plans to put a price tag of less than $15 million on the EMB-145, making it the cheapest regional jet on the market by at least $5 million.

Source: Flight International