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Centrals discuss with Lula the financing of unions and labor ‘reform of the reform’


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President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) and representatives of trade union centrals discussed this Thursday morning (1st) new forms of funding for entities and a new policy for readjusting the minimum wage.

Union leaders told Lula that they are against the repeal of the labor reform, which came into force in 2017, but defended some changes, such as the end of direct negotiation between businessmen and workers, without the intermediary of unions.

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Unionists also hope that a new minimum wage policy will be announced early next year. During the campaign, Lula promised to resume the real increase (that is, above inflation) of the minimum value.

The president-elect received the representatives of the centrals at the CCBB (Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil), headquarters of the transitional cabinet, in Brasília. The national president of the PT, deputy Gleisi Hoffmann, and other members of the PT transition team participated in the conversation.

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After the meeting, the representatives of the centrals affirmed that Lula listened more to the demands and visions of the participants than he spoke, and did not make promises.

“It is very clear that we in the trade union movement, and we made it very clear to him, do not want the repeal of the union reform, we do not want union taxes”, stated the president of UGT, Ricardo Patah.

According to the leader, the centrals want to change some points, such as intermittent work, collective bargaining, and the possibility for companies and employees to negotiate directly and the approval of contract terminations.

In relation to the question of the union contribution, the representatives of the centrals reaffirmed that they were against the return of the collection, but they defended some form of funding for the unions. For example, that workers decide in an assembly whether they want to contribute or not.

“In the assembly, the worker can reduce salary, change functions, but today he is prevented by law from making the union receive or not receive. Who has to decide is the worker”, stated Patah.

Such as Sheet showed, the position of the centrals is aligned with a proposal worked on by the PT team since the elections. Lula’s campaign considers financing unions based on a fee to be charged from workers, but with a percentage to be established in collective bargaining.

Lula had already declared that he was against the return of the union tax, which was extinguished in the reform. The mandatory contribution, one of the main sources of income for the unions, was replaced by a payment that depends on the worker’s authorization.

As a result, the collection of entities (unions, confederations and centrals) fell from BRL 2.2 billion in 2017 to BRL 21.5 million last year.

Another topic discussed during the meeting was a policy to value the minimum wage. The representatives claim that Lula did not commit to values, forms of correction and dates. However, unionists expect this policy to be announced as early as early 2023.

“There is no doubt that the value of the minimum wage this year will not also be the value we would like. But there will be a policy that in a few years we will recover one of the instruments of income distribution which is the minimum wage”, Patah said.

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