Court upholds ‘terror management’ conviction at the Mint

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The Sixth Panel of the TRT-1 (Regional Labor Court of the 1st Region) confirmed the conviction that will force the Mint to pay R$ 50 thousand to the union of coin workers for bullying and abuses committed by the board of directors of the agency between August 2019 and October 2020.

For the judge Maria Helena Motta, rapporteur of the appeal presented by the Mint, the workers were able to demonstrate that they were “under pressure, with the constant anguish of loss of rights and of their own function, repeatedly informed in the defendant’s communiqués.”

“During the management period of the Managers who took over in 2019, anti-union practices were carried out; there was damage to the psychological balance of the pressured category and the preservation of the quality of life and financial balance of workers; unnecessary abusive attitudes were committed, causing damage to mental health of employees,” wrote Motta.

The decision was published on 23 November. The Mint can still appeal to the TST (Superior Labor Court). Sought on Tuesday (30), the agency did not respond. In 2019, when the action started, the company had 1,983 permanent employees.

According to the union of coin acceptors, as of August 2019, when a new board took office, assistance benefits were cut and there was a threat of closing the internal day care center.

Announcements and decisions dealing with the economic infeasibility of the Mint began to be sent frequently to employees. The measure, in the union’s assessment, served to pressure workers to adhere to voluntary dismissal plans.

At the end of that year, the company also started an internal audit, with the creation of a special commission to investigate absences and licenses. In a statement released internally, the board would have determined, according to the union, that managers would “closely monitor the situation of their employees, informing the amount of absence and the financial impact of this absence”.

In May of this year, the union managed to convict the Mint in the first instance, at the 50th Labor Court in Rio de Janeiro.

“It was proven that the board that took over in 2019 arrived in an overwhelming way, shaking the structures, promising several reforms, with successive notices of threat of loss of rights, creation of commissions to refute medical certificates, imposing true management of persecution and terror, management of shock,” wrote judge Maria Alice de Andrade Novaes in the ruling.

For her, the administration’s methods caused a significant emotional shock among the workers, justifying the conviction for collective moral damage. In TRT-1, the reporting judge considered that the action proved the existence of the three requirements for the right to compensation, which are damage, unlawful or abusive act and the causal link.

Attorney Maximiliano Garcez, who represents the union in the lawsuit, says he believes that if the Mint appeals, the TST should not change its understanding. For him, the condemnation of the body has no relevant economic value, but it has an important symbolic value to reaffirm the illegality of abusive behavior.

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