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Presidents of the Journalists Union condemn April: ‘nefarious’ practice

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São Paulo – Less than 10 months after the term of president at the head of the São Paulo Journalists Union (SJSP) ended, journalist Paulo Zocchi was summoned by Editora Abril to return to work from October 30th. The company’s decision breaks with the decades-old agreement that frees professionals to exercise union mandates. For five years, Abril must respect the employee’s absence, without prejudice to his salary, as a way to ensure his independence and autonomy as a union representative elected by his category.

This Monday (26th), ex-presidents of the union, since 1982, expressed repudiation to the attitude, which they considered “nefarious”. In a letter, they asked the president of Editora Abril, Fábio Carvalho, to review the decision on Paulo Zocchi. And they pointed out that the entity “has had support from Editora Abril itself” since the 1960s. At least four journalists from the company served as presidents of the union.

The entity points out that Paulo Zocchi’s impossibility to dedicate himself entirely to his tasks “will have a profound impact on the SJSP’s ability to continue operating on the fronts in which it operates. Even in the struggle for civil liberties ”, describes an excerpt from the letter. The document also warns about the moment in the country, when the press already “suffers tremendous attacks from the President of the Republic and his surroundings”.

At a meeting on October 15, more than 40 media professionals unanimously decided to carry out a denunciation campaign against Editora Abril. Associates also charge that the president be held in office until the agreed term.

Attack on category and entity

Since the decision was announced on September 23, some union leaders have defined it as a form of attack on the category and the entity. The Union was in charge of Abril’s default process, which led to the dismissal of about 800 employees and 200 freelancers in 2018. The company went through a judicial reorganization process and its workers had to sue the Justice to obtain their labor rights and due compensation. .

The presidents finalize the letter, listing that there are many negative impacts at the same time. “That Editora Abril, a journalistic company, is not among those who disparage civil liberties and the very freedom of the press in our country.”

Check the letter in full

To the Lord

Fábio Carvalho, president of Editora Abril

Ref .: Request for reconsideration of decision

São Paulo, October 26, 2020

On September 23 of the current year, Editora Abril notified the president of the Union of Professional Journalists in the State of São Paulo, Paulo Zocchi, to return to work, later defining the return for October 30, as he does not intend to continue paying his salary while he chairs the entity.

As ex-presidents of the Union, we have come to you to request that you reconsider the decision made.

We remind you, on behalf of all SJSP members, represented at the Extraordinary General Meeting on October 15th, that Editora Abril’s decision breaks with a tradition of the major newspaper companies in the state of São Paulo to release union presidents without prejudice to their salaries . This tradition dates back to the 1960s and has always had the support of Editora Abril itself, which has already had four of its journalists as presidents of the Union.

Why now, just when Paulo Zocchi is less than ten months away from completing his second and final mandate at the head of the organization, just when journalists and the press suffer tremendous attacks from the President of the Republic and its surroundings, just at this moment, Editora Does April make such a nefarious decision?

We ask you to reflect on the meaning of this decision in the current context. It goes well beyond a simple initiative by the HR sector of a large company. It concerns civil liberties themselves, including freedom of the press.

Freedom of expression and press

The Union of Professional Journalists in the State of São Paulo is one of the most important organizations of Brazilian journalists. His performance in the struggles for freedom of expression and the press, as well as in the country’s democratization process, are notorious. Know, gentlemen, that the impossibility for the entity’s president to dedicate himself fully to his affairs will have a profound impact on the SJSP’s ability to continue acting on the fronts in which it operates, including the struggles for civil liberties.

However, despite its importance in matters of journalists and society, the SJSP is a small entity, under attack also by legislation that prevents union tax from being collected. Leads journalists at a time of profound changes in journalism. Note, gentlemen, that there are many negative impacts at the same time. That Editora Abril, a journalistic company, does not figure – it too – among those who disparage civil liberties and the freedom of the press itself in our country.

Requesting that you acknowledge receipt of this, we express our certainty that we can count on you to review this unfortunate decision.

Lu Fernandes, president from 1982 to 1984
Gabriel Romeiro, president from 1984 to 1987
Robson Moreira, president from 1987 to 1990
Everaldo Gouveia, president from 1993 to 2000
Fred Ghedini, president from 2000 to 2006
José Augusto de Camargo, president from 2006 to 2014

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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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