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MEC retreats back to classroom classes at universities starting in January



São Paulo – The Ministry of Education (MEC) decided to withdraw from an ordinance published earlier today (2) in the Federal Official Gazette that determined the return to face-to-face classes at federal universities starting on January 4. The negative impact of the measure, amid a scenario of uncertainty in relation to the covid-19 pandemic, was intense and had the reaction of people from academia, politicians and also health experts.

Although President Jair Bolsonaro tries to reduce the biggest health tragedy in more than 100 years in the world, in reality the moment is for an increase in cases and expansion of contagion. With that, the MEC’s ​​attempt to support Bolsonaro’s negationist stance worked.

In the university environment, I was already sure that many would disrespect the ordinance. Among them, the University of Brasília (UnB), the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA) and the Federal University of ABC (UFABC) had already manifested themselves.

The ordinance violated state and municipal decrees and, therefore, the Constitution. The Federal Supreme Court (STF) had already decided, at the beginning of the pandemic, on the autonomy of protective actions by states and municipalities.


In an interview with CNN Brasil in the early afternoon, the Minister of Education, Milton Ribeiro stated that he will “open a public consultation to listen to the academic world. Schools were not prepared, planning was lacking ”, he admitted.

Biologist and scientific disseminator Atila Iamarino predicted the reaction of universities even in the early hours of the day. He stated: “The MEC decreed a return from universities without considering an epidemiological situation. There is no point (…) Monitoring this friction will be very informative about how other sectors should or should not reopen. ”

In addition, the scientist reported what every student at a federal university knows well. “I got tired of finding toilets without soap or soap in the public universities I attended. And I attended in years when the budget was much greater than now. ”


In the political arena, the MEC’s ​​decision also fell badly. Federal deputy Paulo Teixeira (PT-SP) celebrated the retreat. “MEC draw back decision to resume face-to-face classes. That measure would be defeated. What scares is what goes through the mind of whoever decided to propose it. It would be genocide! ”

José Guimarães (PT-CE) followed in the same vein. “MEC draw back and gives up on returning to school at universities in January. Once again, popular pressure overthrew Bolsonaro’s authoritarian measure. We will keep watch. We have two more years of a lot of struggle against the setbacks and obscurantism of this government. ”

PCdoB deputy Alice Portugal (BA) classified the setback as an “educational victory”. “MEC draw back and will revoke an ordinance that determines the return of classes at Universities and Federal Institutes in January. We had presented a project to overturn this irresponsible measure. We will continue to fight and be vigilant against the government’s setbacks! ”

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Oil workers strike in six states against abuses and privatizations




São Paulo – Oil tankers from Amazonas, Espírito Santo, Minas Gerais, Pernambuco and São Paulo started a strike this Friday (5). In addition, oil tankers from Bahia have also resumed the strike, after the failure of negotiations with Petrobras management. Another seven unions in the category are holding assemblies in the coming days to decide whether they will also join the strike.

In addition to the sliced ​​privatization of Petrobras subsidiaries, workers complain about worsening working conditions. They claim that bullying has become a “management tool”, used by the company’s management to pressure workers.

In addition to a policy to combat moral harassment, oil tankers also want an end to shift folds and extended working hours with the strike that broke out. They also demand the implementation of the collective bargaining agreement specifically for workers who work 12 hours a day.

According to the Single Federation of Oil Workers (FUP-CUT), workers are exhausted, “physically and psychologically”. The organization says there is no dialogue with the unions. On the other hand, the managements of Petrobras units subject the category to exhaustive hours and multifunctions, whether in face-to-face or remote work. In addition, the FUP also denounces compulsory transfers of workers and non-compliance with the Collective Agreement.

According to the federation, the current strike by oil tankers is “in defense of life, jobs and rights”. “We cannot admit that thousands of workers have their lives turned upside down, without the Petrobras management even accepting to negotiate alternatives proposed by the category. All this in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic, which is advancing on oil tankers, with hundreds of workers contaminated weekly due to the incompetence and negligence of the Castello Branco management, ”said the FUP, in a note.


In Bahia, in addition to labor issues, oil tankers are also protesting the privatization of the Landulpho Alves Refinery (Rlam). They had gone on strike on 17 February. But the strike was suspended the next day, when Petrobras announced its intention to negotiate.

Last month, Rlam was sold to Mubadala Capital, Abhu Dhabi’s investment fund, for $ 1.65 billion. But, according to the Institute for Strategic Studies of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (Ineep), the refinery was sold for less than 50% of its value. According to calculations by the institute, Rlam’s market value would be between US $ 3 and US $ 4 billion.


In São Paulo, oil tankers from the Mauá (Recap) and Paulínia (Replan) refineries crossed their arms this morning. They protest the dismantling of Petrobras and the impacts of privatization on workers. In Espírito Santo, onshore oil tankers, in São Mateus, joined the strike. At the Manaus Refinery (Reman), with reduced headcount, workers complain that they are exposed to the daily risks of accidents and contamination by covid-19. In Bahia, the union denounces the presence of a strong police apparatus on the outskirts of Rlam.

“Fair price” fuels

This Thursday (4), the oil tankers participated in the demonstrations called by the centrals in favor of employment, vaccination for all and emergency aid of RS 600. In partnership with CUT and social movements, Petrobras workers sold “fair price” fuels in nine states. Taxi drivers, drivers and application deliverers were able to purchase gasoline for R $ 3.50 a liter. In Salvador, truck drivers were also able to refuel by paying R $ 3.09 per liter of diesel.

Fuel discounts served to protest the International Price Parity (PPI) policy, which has been adopted by Petrobras since 2016. In other words, linked to the value of a barrel of oil in the market, coupled with the devaluation of the real in the last period, the fuel prices have exploded. As a result of this policy, gasoline registered an accumulated increase of 41.5%, only in 2021. In diesel, the increase reaches 34.1%.

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