Correios files for mediation at the Brazilian Superior Labor Court to end postal workers' strike

Correios, Brazil's postal service, said the issue will have its outcome in the court as there is no agreement with workers' unions

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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  • According to Correios workers entity, there will be a hearing tomorrow to mediate the labor conflict;
  • Correios workers are on strike for a week, unsatisfied with the decision of the Brazilian Supreme Court that suspended a normative that guided the collective agreement negotiation between workers and Correios.

Brazilian postal workers have been on strike since last week and as there is no agreement with Correios employees, the state-owned company filed on Tuesday (25) a Collective Bargaining Agreement in the Brazilian Superior Labor Court (TST, in Portuguese) to cease the workers stoppage.

Correios told LABS that since the beginning of July it has been trying to negotiate with the employees’ representative unions the terms of the collective agreement negotiation that governs the relationship between the company and its workers. “Continuing the actions to strengthen its finances and consequently preserve its sustainability, the company presented a proposal that aims to adapt the benefits of employees to the reality of the country and the state-owned company,” says the company.

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The federation of postal workers’ unions, Fentect, told LABS that a public prosecutor of labor made a request for mediation in the TST and soon afterwards came up the request for negotiation by Correios via the Brazilian Court to judge the nature of the labor conflict. “TST internal regulations and the country’s labor legislation propose that before the conflict is heard there will be a conciliation hearing, which will take place tomorrow at 2 pm”, said Emerson Marinhopress secretary of Fentect.

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According to him, as the TST complies with the prosecutor’s request, from the Labor Prosecutor’s Office, there will be a hearing of mediation between Correios and the representation of workers with a member of the TST, who may be magistrate Luiz Phillipe Vieira de Mello Filho, current vice-president of the TST. The Correios representation was given to him. “If tomorrow the mediation does not advance, it may return to the collective bargaining that the company asked for, and a hearing of conciliation between the parties (will take place). We at Fentect will be ready to participate both tomorrow and at the conciliation hearing if convened by the TST”, said Marinho.

How long will the postal workers’ strike last?

According to Marinho, the strike continues to escalate, with several workers who at first had not joined it, becoming angry and ending up joining the strike movement after the STF‘s (Brazilian Supreme Federal Court) judgment. The Court suspended the current normative sentence that guided the collective agreement negotiation between workers and Correios.

“We estimate that 70% of workers are on strike. We have several demonstrations around the country and we will have a national act on Thursday, at 10 am, in front of the blood banks”, said Marinho. It will be a solidarity act, since the workers will promote a collective blood donation after the demonstration.

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Fentect also guides the union to intensify the mobilization, to expand the strike movement because the strike continues for indefinitely period of time, “until the company presents a proposal that can be put to vote for workers. “If there is no proposal, the strike continues and the orientation is for workers to expand their conviction signs in front of Correios units with acts”, he said.

Correios, on the other hand, points out that the salaries of all employees remain protected and that workers continue to have access, for example, to the daycare allowance benefit and to the meal and food vouchers, in quantities appropriate to the working days of the month, according to each employee’s work day. It again stated that the employees in the Distribution / Collection, Treatment and Service areas are also kept with their respective additional staff.

“The partial shutdown of the largest logistics company in Brazil, amid the pandemic of COVID-19, brings financial losses not only to Correios, but to countless Brazilian entrepreneurs, in addition to affecting the image of the institution and its employees before society”, it said.

Correios claims that it has preserved jobs, wages and all the rights provided for employees in Brazil’s workers regulation. The company said it awaits the return of workers who joined the strike as soon as possible, aware of their responsibility to the population, since now the whole issue will have its outcome in the Brazilian court.

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