National day of mobilization, São Paulo, August 16, 2016 - Photo: Dino Santos

National day of mobilization, São Paulo, August 16, 2016 - Photo: Dino Santos

Brazil: National strike defending workers’ rights

14.11.2016

On 11 November, unions affiliated to the CUT and the Força Sindical, both IndustriALL affiliates, organized a national strike in defence of workers' rights

Since the coup in Brazil, with the removal of President Dilma Rouseff, workers are suffering continuous attacks on the rights they have won in recent years.

President Michel Temer has presented bills to promote outsourcing, freeze public spending on education and health and increase the retirement age.

In protest, major Brazilian trade union centres joined forces to organize strikes, stoppages, marches and rallies on 11 November.

  • The unions want to stop approval of the following reforms proposed by Temer:
  • Freeze on public spending. The bill proposed by Temer, known as PEC 241, was approved by the Senate on 25 October and freezes public spending for a period of 20 years. The unions are mobilizing against PEC 241 because of the implications for spending on health and education
  • Privatization of Petrobras. Bill PL 4567/2016 would change the role of Petrobras in the exploration of the pre-salt oilfields. It says that the state shall no longer be the sole operator and opens the market to other investors.
  • Pension reform. The reform will increase the minimum retirement age to 65 and will link social security payments to adjustments to the minimum wage.
  • Legalization of outsourcing. Bill PL 4330 will legalize precarious work.

Another protest is planned for 25 November.

IndustriALL’s General Secretary Valter Sanches says:

“The international trade union movement supports the struggles of the working class in Brazil against attacks on their achievements and on democracy.”

Jorge Almeida, IndustriALL regional secretary for Latin America and the Caribbean says:

“We congratulate the Brazilian trade union movement, fighting to retain its rights against an illegitimate government that is insensitive to the financial, social and employment needs of the people. IndustriALL Global Union is following this struggle and ready to provide the necessary solidarity.”