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The fight against outsourcing continues in Brazil

18 July, 2013In the current context of social mobilization in Brazil, affiliates continue actions against the adoption of a bill that advocates for a more flexible labour market. On 17 July, IndustriALL’s Brazilian affiliates met to further discuss the struggle to stop precarious work.

The battle against the adoption of the bill PL 4033 on outsourcing submitted by Congressman Sandro Mabel is ongoing, led by several trade unions. The text would contribute to the casualization of work, allowing outsourcing, including for jobs related to the permanent and normal activities of the user enterprise.

Pressure from trade unions has caused the adoption by the parliamentary committee of Justice and Citizenship to be postponed several times, this is the last step before its adoption by Congress; the adoption is now planned for early August.

After negotiations between the main stakeholders, the government decided to hold a series of quadripartite negotiations in order to review the bill and amend it before its adoption in August. This social dialogue involves representatives of trade unions and employers' organizations, members of the Ministry of Labour and deputies. Several rounds of negotiations have taken place with no compromise reached yet.

According to Marilane Meixeira, from CNQ/CUT, who is part of the CUT working group on this issue, the adoption of the bill as it stands will weaken the work relationship and undermine the negotiating power of the trade unions. Trade unions continue to mobilize members on this issue. One of the demands of the CUT at its 11 July mass mobilization was the rejection of this bill.

Despite the lack of regulation of outsourcing and the difficulties for existing sectoral trade unions to organize precarious workers, Brazilian affiliates have been able to reach some agreements restricting the use of outsourced workers at company level.

The trade union of chemical workers in the Rio de Janeiro region negotiated the signing of a code of conduct with Bayer in order to limit the use of precarious workers. The company may not use subcontractors without consulting the trade union. The Metal worker trade union negotiated a similar agreement with Mercedes-Benz in the region of Sao Paulo. The management and the works council negotiate the rate of outsourced workers to be employed in the plants.

Several trade unions have also been able, through legal action, to regularize the situation of precarious workers performing jobs related to the permanent activity of the user enterprise. The courts of Justice basing their decision on the existing jurisprudence stated that these workers had to be directly employed by the user undertaking as performing activities directly related to the production activities of the company.

The adoption of the new law would challenge all the progress made by IndustriALL affiliates in Brazil. IndustriALL will continue to support its members in the fight against outsourcing in Brazil and for the protection of the rights of workers and unions.