AMERICA/BRAZIL - Labor reform approved, despite the opposition of the Church and other institutions

Thursday, 13 July 2017 work   human rights   politics   corruption  

Brazil (Agenzia Fides) - The Brazilian Senate approved Michel Temer's labor reform: 50 votes in favor and 26 against. The text, which has caused countless demonstrations and three general strikes, aims to modernize the Brazilian market and stimulate the economy. Although there have been signs of improvement, it still remains the worst crisis in the last decades.
A group of Senators hindered the Senate's President when he started the session on the vote on the reform. The sitting was suspended for six hours and the vote was only possible after 10 pm on Tuesday, 11 July.
The Brazilian Bishops' Conference (CNBB) along with other 11 institutions had strongly criticized the text of the reform because it gives a lot of power to the employer without protecting the worker. The CNBB had published a note stating that the text contained unconstitutional proposals and highlighted a major backwardness in the social field. A few days ago CNBB President, Cardinal Sergio da Rocha, Archbishop of Brasilia, explained that the CNBB was discussing the Brazilian crisis, "The political crisis must not continue!" (See Fides 4/07/2017), and denounced the country's corruption and the presumption of authorities in ignoring public opinion.
Among the new measures of the labor reform, some facilitate the recruitment of private individuals in key posts, eliminate fees payable to unions that were mandatory (in Brazil there are 17,082 trade unions, in Argentina there are only 100), allow agreements made between employer and worker to take precedence over the legal provisions, so for example they can agree upon 12-hour shifts a day. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 13/07/2017)