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Videos humanize drama of bank layoffs in the middle of a pandemic

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São Paulo – The financial health of the banking system seems to have been one of the few that did not suffer major upheavals after eight months of the covid-19 pandemic in the country. The Brazilian economy started the year with a record of “pibinho” due to the lack of government actions to recover the economy. Since March, the situation has only worsened. The expected fall in GDP for the year is over 5%. Companies lost business and workers lost jobs. Unemployment has exploded, to more than 14%. Afraid of default, the country’s three largest banks increased their provisions. For this reason, the net profit achieved by Bradesco, Itaú and Santander between January and September this year was “only” R $ 34 billion. Despite solid health, layoffs at banks have continued to occur.

In March, the three had agreed, in negotiations with unions in the category, that there would be no layoffs at banks during the pandemic. The wave of contagions is not over yet, the country has reached 6 million cases, deaths due to the covid-19 have returned to around the thousands per day and already total 164 thousand lives lost. But if the pandemic continued, the word from the banks would not.

Bank layoffs have name and face

According to the government’s General Register of Employed and Unemployed (Caged), there were almost 13,000 layoffs in the financial system in nine months. Bradesco alone left 1,300 people without work between March and September, according to bank employees. One of the reactions found by the unions and the national confederation of the category was to resort to social networks to denounce the trio of banks that worsened the situation of Brazil’s economy.

A series of videos has been released by the Banking Union of São Paulo, Osasco and Region. Recorded by actors, the messages are based on reports from real characters, from employees who cannot expose themselves, taken as examples by Bradesco, Itaú and Santander. They express the banks’ sense of betrayal by promoting layoffs of employees who have spent years fulfilling their obligations. Posted on the entity’s YouTube channel, the testimonies of former bank employees of the country’s three largest banks have already had more than 52 thousand views.

Bárbara, 12 years of Bradesco

“I hit goals, covered the boss’s vacation, sick leave and maternity leave. There were days when I didn’t have lunch. I didn’t go to the bathroom. I suffered moral harassment, threat of dismissal. And when he argued to the general manager that I was overwhelmed, he said that the problem was with the regional manager. Even so, I worked hard. He was always among the best. Until on a Monday I was fired. For Bradesco, I did not perform well. ”

Álvaro, 15 years at Itaú

“I worked for 11 years at Central 30 hours. Then I went to the auto finance desk. We even won a customer satisfaction award. ‘We’, no, because it was because of me. But I wasn’t even invited to the party myself. I was a distinguished employee, praised inside and outside the department. Until a manager arrives and starts chasing. In that I was fired by the team. Fifteen years in the bank, accomplished goals. Exploited, harassed, pressured, sick. Suddenly: ‘No profile’. ”

Luiz Carlos, nine years of Santander

“I remember the 2014 World Cup. Go, Brazil! I literally wore the bank shirt. Many foreigners in the country looking for bank channels. And I was the front line at Santander SAC. Service in English, Spanish. Go Brazil! And at SAC, the boss monitors you all the time. Still has customer evaluation. I never received a complaint, no warning. On the contrary: I received many compliments. And I got fired. Reason? Low productivity. ”

Humanize the numbers

“The union wanted to show something more human with these videos. When we see only the numbers, it becomes very cold. We wanted, with actors, to show the true history of bank employees. Who are very dedicated. They fulfill goals and even then they are fired ”The explanation is from the president of the São Paulo Bankers Union, Ivone Silva.

“We wanted to put a face on these layoffs. They are fathers and mothers of families. They are people on whom their families depend. People who professionally dedicated themselves a lot and still got fired. And that despite all the bank profits. ”

bank layoffs
Ivone: banks need to explain contradictions

According to Ivone, the union has been promoting actions on social networks and every week these campaigns, which “do reach the image of the banks”, appear among the most talked about subjects. And banks are charged and end up having to explain themselves. “That’s because the image of the banks is that advertising thing, look, come here, we are concerned about your health, we are your partners. Partner nothing. They are collaborating for the terrible numbers of layoffs in the economy, despite their profits being exorbitant ”, says the president of the entity.

“We have had a lot of positive feedback. People saying ‘that’s right!’ And banks have to satisfy customers, because they feel the contradiction between advertising and real life, ”he observes. “Layoffs affect service conditions. You pass through the branches and see huge lines. Especially at Bradesco, which has been doing a lot of advertising, people are seeing that the agencies do not match the advertisements. ”

bank layoffs
Demonstration of bank workers’ union on Avenida Paulista

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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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