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#14J: massive general strike in Brazil

17 June, 2019At a general strike in Brazil on 14 June, an estimated 45 million workers across the country mobilized in protest of the government's continued attacks on their rights.

The aim of the general strike was to stop a social security reform in the Chamber of Deputies, which would mean a setback in terms of rights. In addition, strikers reject the budget cut for public education and are against the privatization of Petrobras.

"All IndustriALL affiliates in Brazil actively participated in the demonstrations. Media tried to demobilize the strike, there was pressure from companies (and there are 14 million unemployed in Brazil) and unions that paralyzed the transport sector were fined.

But in spite of this, the strike has popular support and took place in all states. It’s a victory and a strong demonstration of unity of the trade union movement, which we haven’t seen for a while,”

says Lucineide Varājo, CNQ/CUT president and IndustriALL regional co-chair.

Bolsonaro’s far right government is trying to put an end to the current retirement system, which is public and universal. They want to change it into 'individual capitalization model', in which retirement will depend on what individuals have been able to save during his or her working life.

According to workers this is unfair, as periods of unemployment and informal work make it difficult to save for a decent retirement.

The proposal also sets the end of retirement by time of contribution and implements a minimum age of 65 years for men and 62 for women. It destroys the social security system that guarantees assistance for workers and their families in episodes of illness, disability or widowhood.In a solidarity resolution with the Brazilian trade union movement, IndustriALL Global Union’s Executive Committee said:

"The 50 million workers we represent express their disapproval of these serious attacks on unions and reaffirm their total and unlimited support to their Brazilian brothers and sisters. In addition, we will mobilize and be attentive in all countries where IndustriALL is present, to support this struggle for justice, democracy and freedom.

quote here"