COVID19 Brazil: Workers defeat measure suspending work contracts without pay

24 March 2020 12:36


BWI affiliates in Brazil on Monday claimed victory after  they successfully pressured its government to back down on a measure that aims to suspend the employment contract of all workers for up to 4 months without salaries as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The unions said that President Jair Bolsonaro issued a decree issued on Sunday night allowing the suspension of employment contracts for 4 months without any promise of compensation and absent of any consultations with the unions.

The government, however, revoked the measure on Monday after the massive public outcry against the policy, mainly coming from labour unions. 

It was reported that BWI affiliates played an important role in protesting the said measure by mobiling 80 of its federations and unions.   

Yet, the unions said that the fight is far from over. They said that while the measure suspending work contracts was shelved, the decree itself is still in full effect. Other controversial provisions of the decree includes the prohibition of fines by the Labor Inspectorate and the release of health and safety rules on areas that do not represent serious and imminent risks.

The unions sent a letter to the President of the National Congress, Rodrigo Maia, demanding the complete and immediate revocation of what they described as Bolsonaro’s “death decree.”  

Here is the link to the letter. Brazilian workers letter