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CUT and Força form entity for a ‘new’ industry

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São Paulo – The creation of IndustriALL Brasil, this Tuesday (17th), represents another stage in the effort of the union movement to defend the sector and stop the process of deindustrialization in the country. It is the first time that CUT and Força Sindical come together to form an entity, in which they will share command, planning and proposals. The name and format are inspired by the IndustriALL Global Union, created in 2012 – by entities representing 50 million workers in more than 140 countries – but without formal ties.

From the development of a national industry from the 1950s to the crisis of the 1980s and the globalization that started in the following decade, the sector was losing weight in the Brazilian economy. It came to represent practically a third of the national GDP, but for years it has skyrocketed in the range of 10%, without the last governments, since 2016, presenting any type of policy for the sector. The challenge is to diagnose the problems and present proposals for sustainable policies, in a context of intense and rapid transformation of the sector.

Ten million workers

In addition to the direction, which includes the presidents of the plants, IndustriALL Brasil is organized into departments, according to the sector of activity: Metallurgical, Chemical, Textile / Clothing, Construction, Food and Energy. CUT and Força report representing 10 million workers in the industry, out of a total of almost 38 million at the base across the country.

The general secretary of the new entity is Raimundo Suzart, from the chemical branch (CUT). The vice-presidency was with Rosemary Prado, from the metallurgical area (Força). And the presidency, in the period 2020-2022, fell to Aroaldo Oliveira da Silva, 42 years old, metallurgist (CUT).

New generation

Executive director of the ABC Metalworkers Union, Aroaldo himself represents a new generation in the industry. Coincidentally, he was born in 1978, the year of the pioneering strike at Scania, in São Bernardo do Campo, led by Gilson Menezes, among others. The union president, going for the second term, was Luiz Inácio da Silva, known as Lula.

Aroaldo’s father was also a metallurgist, from the Northeast and a retirant. He went to work in the industry and arrived at Mercedes-Benz in São Bernardo, where he himself entered, in July 1993, as an apprentice at Senai. He went to the factory in 1996 and ended up in 1997, as a vehicle assembler. Thus, it went through all the recent phases: the productive restructuring, which eliminated many jobs, the “dismantling” of the FHC years and a beginning of economic recovery mainly under the Lula government.

Diagnosis and unified agenda

For Aroaldo, IndustriALL Brasil has the role of “unifying the union agenda” on reindustrialization. “The first step is to try to make a thorough diagnosis of the Brazilian industry. Everyone talks about industrial policy. We need to have a policy that develops Brazil and other sectors. With quality, income and rights ”, says the president.

He also notes that it is necessary to think about the sector in an articulated way, considering each production chain. And the new entity – formed from overcoming divergences and uniting convergences – will not “replace” national centrals or confederations, adds Aroaldo, but will provide support and play an articulating role. The idea is to group other plants in the project.

Although it represents 11% of GDP, the industry brings together 15% of formal jobs and the wage bill, recalls Aroaldo. Brazil fell for the fifth consecutive year and is the ninth in the global ranking of industrial participation, with less than 2%, compared to 25% in China and 15% in the United States, among others. It also invests little, comparatively, in research and development. “In 2019, the United States invested more than $ 580 billion, China invested $ 520 billion, Japan, almost $ 200 billion. And Brazil, less than US $ 40 billion, ”he said.

Policy and investment

Secretary-General of IndustriALL Global Union since 2016, the Brazilian Valter Sanches participated in the live launching event, which also included representatives from the various departments and the two central offices – the president of CUT, Sérgio Nobre, and the director of Força Mônica Veloso. The plant’s president, Miguel Torres, is recovering from the covid-19. Sanches highlighted Brazil’s “shattered economy”. “Without an industrial policy and without foreign investment, it is condemning even more (the country) to deindustrialization.”

Monica linked unemployment to poverty. And he defended the rescue of the right to work and life as values ​​of democracy. Sérgio Nobre affirmed that the current government is of “destruction” and that it is necessary to discuss with society what would mean the “death” of the industry for the economy and the population itself. “Only soy production will not give the standard of living that our people deserve.”

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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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