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4 Sep, 2016

U.S. Chamber of Commerce cheers as Brazilian President deposed

Brussels, 1 September 2016 (ITUC OnLine): The international trade union movement is warning that a wave of corporate greed will be unleashed in Brazil following the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff by a corruption-riddled Congress.

The all-male, all-white cabinet, headed by little-known former Vice-president Michel Temer, had already been drawing up plans for massive budget cuts immediately after taking the reins of power when Dilma was suspended pending the result of the Senate impeachment hearings. Fifteen of the initial 24 cabinet ministers, including Temer himself, face corruption allegations or criminal charges.

Whilst in office, Dilma refused to hobble ongoing corruption investigations, including into members of her own political party.

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, said: “Brazil’s richest family used their dominant Globo media empire to help destabilise the government, and now other corporations from home and abroad are looking to cash in on an expected fire-sale of state assets, weakened labour protections and a government that is already putting the interests of global business ahead of its own citizens’ jobs and livelihoods. It was no surprise to see the American Chamber of Commerce in the media talking up the Temer government within an hour of President Dilma being deposed, in keeping with their global campaign for corporate expansion and profit at the expense of democracy and rights.”

The first actions of the Temer government during Dilma’s suspension included eliminating the Ministries for women, racial equality and human rights, and reversing a 2014 law which guaranteed domestic workers access to pensions, wage guarantees and unfair dismissal compensation. New cuts to key government services and social expenditure will hit the poorest hardest, and Temer has flagged major changes to labour laws and the pension system along with a constitutional amendment which would lock the country into an austerity path for the next two decades.

“The political crisis in Brazil is profound, with a government that has no credibility except with big business interests and deeply corrupt individuals. Decades of social progress are at risk, and the government’s fixation with corporate-friendly austerity policies, which have demonstrably failed elsewhere, will not resolve the deep economic problems which began with falling oil prices. All the trade union centres in Brazil are united in their opposition to the planned weakening of labour laws, and the international trade union movement stands solidly with them,” said Burrow.

To read Antonio Lisboa’s blog: http://www.equaltimes.org/we-will-fight-brazil-s-coup-in-the#.V8gkZ623vNg