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Chile must eliminate liberalism ‘distortions’ in new constitution

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São Paulo – The professor of International Relations at the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ) Williams Gonçalves points out that the drafting of a new Constitution in Chile is a historic opportunity to bury the “disastrous” legacy that combined authoritarianism and neoliberal economic policies.

The Andean country, which went to the polls on Sunday (25), is the paradigmatic case of this combination, which has influenced the Latin American continent in the last five decades.

“It was a long journey, which now culminates with the drafting of a new social pact that can eliminate these absurd distortions of liberal thought,” he said, on Monday (26) in an interview with Glauco Faria, Current Brazil Newspaper.

The result of the design of society implemented since the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1991), according to him, was the complete division of society: on the one hand, those who could pay for private education and health services. On the other, “the others, who can do nothing”.

He recalled that the vote that resulted in the convening of a new constituent assembly, exclusive and with gender parity, was the result of a year of intense mobilizations, in which women played a fundamental role.

Previously, it was the Chilean high school students, in 2006, who gave the first demonstrations of the latent dissatisfaction with the neoliberal state model. Subsequently, the movement broke out again in 2011 and 2012, with protests against the complete privatization of higher education in the country. “They saw that all doors and paths were closed,” he said.

Constitution and pensions in Chile

In addition, the Pinochet dictatorship also left behind the destruction of the country’s social security system, another factor that explains the popular revolt. With the capitalization model, the majority of Chilean retirees started to receive less than the minimum wage. Almost half of them live below the poverty line. Recently, the government was forced to make financial contributions to supplement the pensions paid by private funds.

However, it was this model that produced the misery in Chile that Economy Minister Paulo Guedes tried to import into Brazil. This proposal did not go ahead, during the debates on pension reform, because it was blocked by parliamentarians.

Watch the interview

Writing: Tiago Pereira. Edition: Glauco Faria

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Economy

more unemployment and more informality

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São Paulo – Government, businessmen and some parliamentarians were in tune with the defense of the bill that, if approved, would lead to the creation of Law 13,467 in 2017. The so-called labor reform, after all, would lead to the creation of millions of jobs. This would happen to the extent that it would end the rigidity of the legislation, which they treated as being “plastered”, facilitating hiring and giving the much-needed “modernization” to the Brazilian labor market.

Because the law completed three years on November 11 “and nobody celebrated, not even timidly”, recalls analyst Marcos Verlaine, from the Inter-Union Department of Parliamentary Advisory (Diap). “Among the expectations generated by the authors, the government of that time, the businessmen, who sponsored, defended and acted strongly in Congress to approve it, the media and reality, remained the harsh reality”, he says, in an article. He defines the measure passed by Congress as a “capital Trojan horse” to implode labor rights.

Collective bargaining?

The insistent defense of the “negotiated over the legislature”, a recurring expression at the time, was not to privilege negotiation, notes the analyst. “It was to remove rights, since the negotiations – both CCT (ccollective labor agreements) and ACT (collective labor agreements) – they never prevented, on the contrary, that the conventions surpass the CLT, nor that the agreements surpass the conventions. ”

The “millions” of jobs did not come, even before the pandemic. The growth in occupation was basically due to informal work. In 2016, the year before the “reform”, the country had 10.1 million unpaid employees in the private sector and 22.4 million self-employed workers. Last year, they were 11.6 million and 24.2 million, respectively (check table). The data are from the National Household Sample Survey (Pnad) Continua, from IBGE.

Modernization or precariousness?

Employment with a wallet fell. And the Gini index at work, which measures inequality, which until 2015 fell, rose again the following year and has not stopped.

The “reform” introduced hiring modalities, such as intermittent work. They were also presented as items of the necessary “modernization”, but union members and researchers identify them as additional signs of precariousness in the market. Although still small, the participation of the intermittent modality has been growing.

This week, the Federal Supreme Court (STF) began to judge direct actions of unconstitutionality against intermittent work. In his vote, the rapporteur, Minister Edson Fachin, considered the item unconstitutional and causing damage to workers’ health. But his colleagues Kassio Nunes Marques and Alexandre Moraes were in favor of the sport. The trial was interrupted by a request for view from Minister Rosa Weber.

If it is impossible to revoke the law in its entirety, Verlaine suggests specific changes, citing intermittent hiring. “It is necessary to negotiate with all political and social actors in order to bring about changes in this scorched earth scenario” he argues.

read more: ‘Labor Reform’: Stories of a False Promise and Changes in ‘Endless Destruction’

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