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Brazil's Postal Workers Announce Strike Beginning Today

31 Jul 2019, 17:05 ... -of-today/

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Postal workers have announced a strike starting this Wednesday evening, July 31st. According to the National Federation of Workers of Mail and Telegraph Companies (FENTECT), the class held the last meeting planned in the calendar of negotiations with Brazil’s postal service Correios, in Brasília, on Tuesday morning, July 30th.

According to Fischer Moreira, FENTECT’s press secretary, the class is protesting against the “low salary readjustment and the removal of historical rights.” One of the changes proposed by the company is the exclusion of parents as dependents from the employees’ health plan and an increase in the co-participation in the plan, which today is about 30 percent. The proposed salary adjustment is 0.8 percent, which is considered an insignificant figure by the labor union federation.

The strike was announced to the president of the Correios, Floriano Peixoto, last Monday, July 29th. Despite the stoppage call, workers are not ruling out new negotiations. “Although there is a set date to strike, the command is still willing to negotiate. We understand the company’s current situation, but the workers’ side also needs to be considered,” says Moreira.

The Correios is a candidate for privatization, advocated by president Jair Bolsonaro. The government’s plans, for the time being, are to invest efforts in its welfare reform, while privatizations would be left for a later stage. Fischer Moreira claims that the government’s allied base in Congress, such as legislator Joice Hasselmann, discloses information on the company that “is not truthful.”

“Privatization will not necessarily lead to more affordable prices, including for remote regions, and the insecurity of services will be increased. We know that the ghost of privatization is here and we fight this prospect,” he says.

Correios spokespersons stated that they “continue to negotiate with employee delegations,” mediated by the Superior Labor Court, and that “it is not appropriate to negotiate a strike at this time.”

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