The general strike scheduled for June 14 across Brazil has a clear message for the government of Jair Bolsonaro: economic growth cannot be at the expense of cutting back on the rights of workers and pensioners.
The current policies of the Brazilian government are actively worsening conditions for workers and intentionally attacking unions, with high levels of unemployment that increase every month, and an economy that has touched bottom. The new law which prohibits the payroll deduction of union fees, the reductions in salaries, attacks on job security and pensions are also creating a new kind of poverty. Bolsonaro is adopting policies which explicitly target unions in order to reduce their influence in society.
The Brazilian people are taking to the streets to show their anger : we have already seen it in the massive mobilisations against the Labor and Education Reforms, and recently against the proposed Pension Reform.
Marcio Monzane, Regional Secretary of UNI Americas said: “We are in Brazil to express our support for our affiliates, and because we are not going to give up on our hard fought achievements and rights.”
“We are demonstrating against the Pension Reform, and also for the release of Lula, and for a true democracy where the interest of corrupt politicians are not above the interest of the people,” he concluded.
UNI Global Union General Secretary, Christy Hoffman said, “The Brazilian government does not hide its intentions. It wants to impoverish the working class through stripping away hard fought gains and silencing the unions by cutting back on bargaining rights and choking off union resources. But our Brazilian sisters and brothers show a bottomless reserve of determination to stand up to this ruthless behavior. They will win and we will stand beside them every step of the way.”