The nearly 90,000 workers at the Brazilian Postal Service, known as Correios, decided to start a national strike amid the COVID-19 pandemic, starting this Tuesday. By 8:30 pm, 80% of the 36 unions that make up the company’s worker’s union federation, Fentect, had already held assemblies, approving the beginning of the strike.
The national government carries out a backlash against labor rights amidst the pandemic which killed 120 mail workers up to now. Furthermore, Brazilian Mail Company is very profitable. In 2019 the Company made R$ 160 million (around US$ 30 million) in profits.
Correios is the first major state-owned company to enter the wage negotiation phase this year. In November last year, the Minister of the Supreme Federal Court (STF) Dias Toffoli decided, preliminarily, to suspend the current normative sentence (which happens when the judiciary has to decide on a collective agreement negotiation) that governs the relationship between the company and its workers.
The workers ask for the reinstatement of the current normative sentence, which would be valid until 2021, and the maintenance of the 79 labor clauses in the document, such as 180-day maternity leave, payment of nightly premium, overtime, death indemnity, daycare assistance, among others.
The Court’s final judgment on the matter began on Monday and must end by the 21st – in this pandemic period, the STF’s bylaws say that the trials, made virtually, must take place within 5 business days. Striking before the final decision makes sense as a way of putting pressure on the Court and the leaders of the state company.
According to the worker’s union federation, about 60,000 employees may stop working.
Below is a model of a motion in solidarity:
Solidarity with the Brazilian Postal Workers National Strike!
On Monday (17), postal workers’ mass meetings across the country decided to go on a national strike. The united action brings together the 36 postal workers’ unions and federations in Brazil. Postal workers stand for keeping their contract and stopping the privatization drive.
The Brazilian Mail Company president, Army General Floriano Peixoto, intends to freeze wages and cut 70 out of 79 rights inscribed in the current contract. Among these rights are food vouchers, childcare support, 180-day maternity leave and others.
On top of wages lower than US$ 400, the workforce decreased from 128,000 to 99,000 in eight years’ time, and 120 workers died due to COVID-19 pandemic.
The backlash on workers’ rights is part of a general strategy to privatize the company. Brazilian Mail is very profitable. The company made US$ 30 million in profits in 2019.
Stop concessions! In defense of contract and labor rights!
Stop privatization! For a public postal service under workers´control!
Brazilian postal workers call for international solidarity. Please send your letter of solidarity to email@example.com with copy to firstname.lastname@example.org