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Trade union centres in Brazil lead protests against Temer

6 July, 2017Workers in Brazil held a national day of action and strikes on 30 June to protest against reforms promoted by Michel Temer’s government. 

It is the second time in two months that workers from across the country have came out on to the streets. In a recent poll conducted by CUT-Vox, 90 per cent of Brazilians said they opposed the labour and pension reforms being debated in Congress.

The day of action included strikes, marches and rallies: 40,000 people filled Avenida Paulista in São Paulo. Protesters want to convince parliamentarians to reject the bills presented by the government.

“We know that unity of action is crucial in the trade union struggle, especially in such troubled times as these,” said the trade union centres in a joint press release.

The labour reform will come into force if it receives Senate plenary and then Presidential approval. However, reform of the pension system is at a standstill in the Chamber of Deputies.

The protestors object to the reduction in their rights contained in both of the proposed changes to labour legislation. They also reject the growing unemployment, which is now over 13 per cent in the country. There are about 14 million people out of work in Brazil, the largest economy in South America.

Unions are also against Temer staying on as president, who has been involved in a series of scandals in recent months.

He recently entered the history books as the first serving Brazilian president to be the subject of criminal charges filed by the public prosecutor. Temer has been charged with corruption after an owner of the JBS group, the largest meat processing company in the world, accused the president of taking bribes since 2010.

The trade union centres announced that they will not give up the fight. They will be back on the streets on the day that the Senate votes on labour reform in Brasilia.

IndustriALL Global Union director Fernando Lopes said:

“The united action of workers is essential to put a stop to these reforms, which destroy rights. The struggle continues until we have won!”