Economy

Brazilian postal workers mark possible stoppage for the August 18th

Brazilian postal service employees, known as Correios, demand a salary increase and the maintenance of benefits

Postman working during the pandemic in Rio
Postman working during the pandemic in Rio de Janeiro. Photo: Fernando Frazão / Agência Brasil.
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  • As the LABS showed last week, the Brazilian Postal Service, known as Correios, is the first major state-owned company to enter the wage negotiation phase this year;
  • With the economic pressure of the current crisis and the mission of reducing expenses, the current administration of the state-owned company wants to cut a series of benefits of over 99,000 workers.

Fentect, the federation which represents the majority of postal workers’ unions in Brazil, published a note on Monday in which it advises workers to begin a national strike on August 18. An assembly should take place the day before to confirm the stoppage.

According to the entity, the company “did not present any counter-proposal to the negotiation agenda sent by the category” and “does not comply with the minimum safety measures for workers’ health”. Workers claim a salary increase and the maintenance of their current benefits.

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As LABS showed last week, the Brazilian Postal Service, known as 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 workers.

With the economic pressure of the current crisis and the mission of reducing expenses, the current administration of the state-owned company wants to cut a series of benefits of over 99,000 workers. The category has a new meeting scheduled for next Tuesday and may vote for a national strike, amid the pandemic of the new coronavirus, if the company’s presidency does not retreat.

On Saturday, Correios issued an announcement about the reduction in the value of the food vouchers that its employees receive by about a third. Today, Correios employees receive the benefit not only for working days, but also for weekends and vacations. The company’s administration want to review all the benefits currently in force.

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The federation of unions expects the Brazilian Supreme Court to make a final decision on whether or not to maintain the normative sentence that governs the relationship between Correios and its employees on the 14th. This is something that can directly influence the workers’ decision about a national strike or not.

Last week, Correios positioned itself by means of a note. The state-owned company said that “the current context” obliges the company to “redesign the financial strategy, prioritizing long-term sustainability and, especially, maintaining everyone’s jobs.”

The company stressed that it does not intend to “suppress rights”, but “to adjust the list of benefits granted to the category, as is done regularly”.