Brazil: More than 30 unions launch a Manifesto in protest against boss intervention and in defense of union freedom

We publish an unofficial translation of an article of A Nova Democracia.

More than 36 unions and proletarian class entities issued at the beginning of April 2024 a Manifesto prepared since March 17 in which they condemn the bosses’ anti-union practices. Titled the Manifesto in defense of Union Freedom, organization and form of material support the document, proposed by the Union of Civil Construction Workers of Belo Horizonte and Metropolitan Region (Marreta), calls on other class-based union entities to come out in defense of union autonomy.

In a certain part of the document, the unions state: “When the employer tries to interfere in the administration of the union, trying to bypass the legitimate General Workers’ Assembly, questioning its form of support and, in particular, the ‘negotiating contribution’ approved in the category professional, refusing to sign the Conventions and Collective Agreements, which legitimately established clauses for hiring, they practice anti-union behavior”.

The Manifesto continues saying: “Companies that plunder the sweat of the male and female workers are eager to destroy workers’ organizations, when they are unable to co-opt and corrupt their leaders, they have refused to deduct workers’ contributions to the unions, defying decisions sanctioned by the Federal Supreme Court – STF, which approved the constitutionality of the Negotiable Union Contribution (by 10 to 01 on 09/11/2023). The bosses, guided by the bosses’ Confederations, which survive for the ‘S System’ which is maintained with contributions from the national treasury (compensation taken from contributions to the INSS), and by anti-worker law and accounting companies, insist on non-union contributions. This is a situation that is taking place in the negotiations of Civil Construction workers in Belo Horizonte and Region, in which SINDUSCON-MG wants to directly interfere in the funding of Workers’ Unions, claiming to be a national guideline of the Brazilian Chamber of the Construction Industry – CBIC ”. “The decisions of workers in the General Assembly are sovereign and valid for the conclusion of Collective Labor Agreements – CCT’s and Collective Labor Agreements – ACT’s, but are they not sovereign to decide on the self-sustainability of their representative entity? What do you want with that? They want a weak and inoperative Union, so that they can subject workers to their impositions of unlimited exploitation. That is, to end the autonomy of workers and, mainly, the support of their organization in a flagrant anti-union act”, concludes the Manifesto.

The entities call on trade unions to sign the Manifesto, which in the current moment has among its signatories state and municipal unions from various professional categories, such as civil construction, furniture construction, chemicals and paper makers, forestry and the energy industry.

Read the Manifesto in full below.

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