SindusCon-SP builds 75 years of good stories
In 2009, SindusCon-SP (Sindicato da Indústria da Construção Civil do Estado de São Paulo) is celebrating 75 years of memorable accomplishments. With 9 thousand affiliated companies, this strong and representative entity of one of the most expressive sectors in Brazilian economy is the biggest within its category in Latin America.

Early years
On September 8, 1934, one of the founders of Fiesp (Federação das Indústrias do Estado de São Paulo), the engineer Roberto Simonsen, along with Mário Freire and Arthur Rangel Christoffel, founded the Sindicato Patronal dos Construtores de São Paulo, “seed” of the current SindusCon-SP. The entity started its activities aiming at legally representing the economic category of civil construction, defining its early steps as an entity concerned on the coordination of efforts and defense of São Paulo building companies’ rights, in harmony with the national interests.

The first guidelines of the syndicate were drawn-up by Roberto Simonsen, reelected in a row until 1944. The group of founders, where Arthur Rangel Christoffel, Heitor Portugal, Francisco Azevedo and Eduardo Marcos Monteiro were remarkable, played a decisive role on settling further entity’s accomplishments, by printing the brand of technical support on its activities for associates’ survey and troubleshooting.

On October 10, 1940, the entity started to be denominated as Sindicato da Indústria da Construção Civil de Grandes Estruturas no Estado de São Paulo. On May 1941, The Department of Business on Labor, Industry and Trade approved its by-laws, following the affiliation to Federação das Indústrias Paulistas, nowadays Fiesp (Federação das Indústrias do Estado de São Paulo).

On its first 14 years of activities, SindusCon-SP contributed to the formalization of the labor laws, established an industrial registry with Fiesp, was concerned on the qualifying teaching, created its department of legal assistance and led actions by aiming at addressing building companies.

The expansion of activities
With the election of Francisco Azevedo, in 1944, the syndicate congregated 514 affiliated companies, performing a wide exchange with entities such as Fiesp, Crea, Instituto de Engenharia and among others, and streamlining the legal assistance, under the responsibility of the lawyer Benedito Pereira Porto.

Azevedo remained as the syndicate president until 1954, when he was succeeded by Eduardo Marcos Monteiro. He, in turn, had the engineer Oscar Costa as his successor, from 1956, whom was reelected successively, leaving the position in 1971.

This time was a time of expansion of business activities, with the participation of the syndicate in the initiatives of the category - disputes, discussions against the increase of material prices and on job accidents, in addition to a major concern on social aspects.

Replaced in some impediments by Eduardo Marcos Monteiro and Helion Maia, Oscar Costa created the service of Technical Consultancy, inviting the engineer Dagmar Malltet de Andrade lead it. He started in 1958 studies to create Sesco – Serviço Social da Construção (Building Social Service). He also acted with the Federação dos Trabalhadores nas Indústrias da Construção e Mobiliário and Sesi, to create an assistance and benefit entity for the civil construction industry worker. He worked together with Instituto de Engenharia in defining the fees table for the sector.

SindusCon-SP defended the performance of public competitions, participated on studies, concerned on the profession regulation and disapproved the protectionism.

Social assistance services, studies on job accidents and prevention measures, literacy and courses for workers marked Oscar Costas’ management, culminating with the creation of Seconci-SP, on March 28 1966.

Home dream
In 1971, with a statutory change determining that the syndicate president’s mandate was a 3 year mandate, the engineer Armênio Crestana was elected. This time, the head office had already moved away from Quintino Bocaiúva to take part on the building where Fiesp worked, on viaduto Dona Paulina, 80. Having as legal advisor the lawyer João Batista de Camargo, and as technical advisor the engineer Helion Maia, SindusCon-SP developed studies to improve the legislation in public works and reformed its articles of incorporation.

The habitation systems, the Zoning law, Civil Code of the Federação Nacional da Indústria da Construção were discussed in 1972 and 1973.

With the election of the engineer Mário Eugênio Dorsa, in 1974, the first step of the old dream of the ex-presidents came true: the building of the own head office, at rua Dona Veridiana 55, Santa Cecília, with the purchase of a building with space for the project to be defined.

With Mario Dorsa as the president until 1980, the consultancy for job safety was created; courses for safety engineers, methodology and execution of reinforced concrete were held; there was the first short-time experience of the settlement of delegacies in Campinas, São José dos Campos, Ribeirão Preto and Bauru, and the inauguration of several ambulatories.

The years 1979 and 1980 were marked by the reformulation of the National System for Prices and Indexes Follow-up, with studies on technical and fiscal areas, and the inclusion of the consultative engineer at civil construction area, with actuations with the government to solve problems with cement in public works.

For a 3-year period, the engineer Carlos Engel became SindusCon-SP’s president in 1980, starting a step characterized by the start-up of the head office’s works. The desire of all managements, which by saving and gathering resources, was coming true.

The big expansion
The start which transformed SindusCon-Sp into the biggest patronage syndicate of the sector in Latin America was given on Julio Capobianco’s managements, from 1983 to 1989. The syndicate reached the mark of 5,555 affiliated companies and the number of associated passed from 213 to 1,717.

The entity changed to the head office in 1984 and new sectors were created, such as Economy, which started to publish CUB (Basic Unit Cost) of São Paulo’s construction. The first informative were born, as well as the qualification courses along with Senai. The Regional sectors were created in São Paulo’s inland.

On January 1986, thanks to a group initiative from the syndicate with CBIC (Câmara Brasileira da Indústria da Construção) along with the minister of Treasury, Dilson Funaro, the entity was able to exempt the building of the application of the inflation accounting on realty stocks.

In the same year, Capobianco became Fiesp’s vice-president, position occupied for the first time by a civil construction representative since Simonsen’s time.

In the next year, the syndicate launched along with other entities, the Technical Manual for Job Safety in Buildings. Seven Boards were created: Technical, Public Works, Environment Legislation, Social Development, Realty Industry, Economy and Social Interest Habitation.

The proposals were delivered, such as the Project Cem, for the construction of more than 60 thousand houses in the State of São Paulo intended to the families with up to 8 minimal salaries. And the syndicate organized the 1st State Meeting of Masters and Foremen on Civil Construction Works.

In 88, SindusCon-SP performed in Santos the 1st Congress of São Paulo Construction. Via Embratel made the economic information available to the associate companies. A database was created with FGV (Fundação Getulio Vargas), and the Remissive Catalogue of Technical Standard was developed with ABNT (Associação Brasileira de Normas Técnicas).

The first syndicate’s magazine was created, which transformed into Construction News after several modifications.

Capobianco’s management also had ups and downs while passing through impacting economic plans, which tried to reduce the inflation: Cruzado, Bresser, Verão and Collor.

Collegiate Management
From new statutory reform, a collegiate of 14 vice-presidents was elected in 1992 in dispute with other party, and chose Eduardo Capobianco to be SindusCon-SP’s president. The management’s mandate was reduced to two years, with the possibility for the president to be reelected for two more years.

His management was marked by a expansion of the activities in various areas of the syndicate, who actively participated on the movement which would lead to the impeachment of the president Fernando Collor.

On public works, the remarking was SindusCon-SP’s struggle by the edition of a new Law of Bidding and Contracts, which was approved by the president Itamar Franco: the Law 8.666, in 1993. The new law insured competition conditions to all-size companies, starting a new era of democratization on public biddings, which were controlled before by a restrict number of mega-building companies.

A wider politics on labor relationships was inaugurated. One of the victories consisted on the participation of the workers in a strike, supported by the companies, against the sector contract freezing by president Collor. The Sector of Popular Habitation was created, which sought to thrust specific projects to make the building of houses for low-income families feasible. The Committee of Technology and Quality (CTQ) was born, which constituted of a national reference to the sector.

The syndicate’s communications were modernized, with the creation of Construfax, bulletin which preceded Construmail, and which was broadcast by a set of fax devices twice a week to associates. The press consultancy was renewed, expanding SindusCon-SP’s name exposure in the big media, which started in the previous management. Janela was born, issuance of entity’s opinion published on Sundays on the most influent Brazilian newspaper, Folha de S. Paulo.

The management also got through the first two years of Plano Real, which was more successful than the previous plans in breaking the inflation and provide the country with more solid economic grounds.

Encol case
In 1996, Capobianco was succeeded by a new collegiate of 14 vice-presidents, which chose Sergio Porto for the entity’s presidency, where he would remain until 1990. For the first time, the presidency was exercised by an Inland director, from São José dos Campos.

In addition to reinforcing the participation of the Regional facilities, Porto performed an intense activity in favor of popular habitation financing. He went to 19 states, lecturing on the topic and in 1998, he delivered a proposal on habitation politics to the president Fernando Henrique Cardoso.

In his management, the realty construction faced one of the biggest credibility changes of his history: Encol case, a big building company which broke, impairing thousands of realty buyers. Sergio Porto definitely helped to calm the market down, in recommending that the problem would be solved with the building and ending of works by other building companies, which happened in fact.

In realty area, Owner’s Manual was created. In the labor area, Megasipat –Mega Internal Week for Accident Prevention was born, aiming at making the workers aware of the cares with health and job safety.

In 2000, the party which counted on the situation support, led by Artur Quaresma Filho, won the election. Two years later, as a single party, the group was reelected, remaining at SindusCon-SP’ management until 2004.

In light of the economic crisis, the sector was impacted, specially on the period between 2001 and 2003. It recovered from 2004, when the government finally started to stimulate the building growth, increasing the realty financing and consolidating a regulatory milestone which provided more safety to the investors.

The participation of SindusCon-SP on Fiesp and its interlocution with other São Paulo’s and national building entities was intensified. The Environment and Productivity Committee (Comasp) was born, which became a national reference on the sector.

The Electronic Clipping was created, a daily publishing sent by e-mail to the associated with the syndicate and sector news. And Construfxas became an electronic bulletin, Construmail.

A representation made by SindusCon-SP and Secovi-SP against the market division practiced by the three biggest Steel Industries in Brazil was accepted by the Secretary of Economic Defense, starting a process in which they were judged as guilty in 2005.

The sector was also rationalized in the supply of electric power, having SindusCon-SP’s management taking a series of arrangements for the associate companies. To inform the associates, an electronic publishing was created - The Crisis Bulletin (O Boletim da Crise).

The Economy Sector celebrated a partnership with FGV (Fundação Getulio Vargas), which started producing economic surveys for SindusCon-SP and elaborating the magazine Building Conjuncture (Conjuntura da Construção).

Years of growth and crisis
With a proposal of strengthening the institutional actuation of the syndicate, the single party led by João Claudio Robusti was elected in 2004 and reelected in 2006, leading the syndicate until 2008.  

In this period, the civil construction sector recorded an expressive economic growth. The realty segment watched a strong expansion, motivated by the increase of the SBPE (Brazilian System of Savings and Loans - Sistema Brasileiro de Poupança e Empréstimo) volume credit. Two dozen of companies opened the capital on the Stock Market and saved R$ 20 billion.

One of the highest points in the management was the presentation of a politics to foment the house building with governmental subsidies to the government. In order to elaborate it, the syndicate undertook a business mission to Mexico, where studied the adopted model in that country. The proposal was well accepted and the government of the president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva incorporated it to the PlanHab - National Habitation Plan and afterwards on the habitation program Minha Casa, Minha Vida.

SindusCon-SP also acted in the formatting of a program to expand the infrastructure, which was presented to the government by the set of building entities in Brazil. Its bases and proposals were profited by PAC - Plan for Growth Acceleration (Plano de Aceleração do Crescimento).

In other fight fronts, the syndicate developed a series of actions in favor of the formalization, by obtaining the inclusion of the building sector on the tributary regime of the National Simples. It also fought against the bureaucratization on the project approvals, by obtaining more agility by Caixa Econômica Federal and other bodies.

The relationships with the workers evolved with the creation of ConstruSer – Encontro Estadual dos Trabalhadores da Construção em Família, a full day dedicated to the leisure and learning from the sector collaborators and their families. More collective conventions of workers were signed in the capital and in inland, being the adoption of new clauses to stimulate the workforce formalization the most remarkable.

Robusti dedicated to strengthen the Regional facilities and the ties with further business entities and entered Senai-SP’s Board, where supported the intensification of qualification courses of the sector workers. To organize the demand by construction materials, CompraCon-SP (Associação de Compras da Construção Civil no Estado de São Paulo) was created.

New statutory reform is performed and the Management mandate expands to three years, with the possibility for the president to be reelected for three more.

In single party, with the support of the Management, Sergio Tiaki Watanabe was elected and started his mandate in August 2008, with an intense growth in building, which came out to the lack of strategic materials, such as cement and steel. SindusCon-SP urged the manufacturers to import products, in order not to delay the works.

One month later, Brazil started to feel the early effects of the international financial crisis, which reached strongly the building in early October.

The credit was suspended, the building companies cancelled new launches and reduced the work rhythm. The syndicate mobilized with the other entities of the sector, obtained an anti-cyclic program from the government, started with specific credit lines and which culminated on the launch of the habitation program Minha Casa, Minha Vida, on March 2009. From this moment, the building recovered and grew again. Some building companies captured again resources in Stock Market, The Management has acted in a series of actions in favor of the stimulation to the building with technical excellence and the socioenvironmental responsibility, and more workforce qualification. Watanabe succeeded Robusti on Senai-SP’s Board.

Sindicato da Indústria da Construção Civil do Estado de São Paulo
Sede: Rua Dona Veridiana, 55 - 01238-010 - Higienópolis - São Paulo - SP
Telefone: (11) 3334 5600 / 3224 0566   -   Fax: 3334 5689 / 3224 8266