National Day of Action mobilizes country against outsourcing law
In Brasília (Federal District) at around 3:00pm, the police engaged thousands of people demonstrating in front of the National Congress -- at times with violent force.
By José Coutinho Junior, Vivian Fernandes and Simone Freire of Brasil de Fato
Translated by Colin Murphy
Tuesday morning this week began with large demonstrations all over the country. Organized by federations of unions as well as social movements both urban and rural, the National Day of Action for Workers’ Defense drew hundreds of people into the streets in defense of workers’ rights and against the passing of a law, PL 4330/04, which would authorize widespread outsourcing for businesses.
The list of grievances criticizes state-owned fossil fuel corporation Petrobras, decries political corruption, and calls for the defense of democracy, as well as political, agricultural, and communications policy reform. In São Paulo, the mobilization began at 9AM and joined forces with the World Health Day March, which demanded increased investment in the national healthcare system (SUS), lambasting the privatization and outsourcing that has taken place within it.
A representative of the Municipal Service Workers’ Union of São Paulo (Sindsep), Lourdes Estevão, spoke about the effects of outsourcing in the health sector. “Our assessment is that outsourcing, beyond being bad for the worker, is expensive and doesn’t promote health. From the moment that public health services are transferred over to the private sector, it becomes all about profit and speedy service instead of ensuring the well-being of the patients.”
Ms. Estevão’s feelings are shared by Adão do Carmo, representative of the People’s Health Movement (Movimento Popular da Saúde): “Workers and the health system are finding themselves in a deteriorating situation with the privatization of public services. We will not let the SUS be scrapped,” he said.
The issue of the precarious state of women’s health was also broached during the demonstration by Sonia Coelho, of the Global Women’s March (Movimento Mundial de Mulheres). According to her, the lack of investment in the SUS by the São Paulo State Government has led to the deaths of many women.
“The State Government’s work around women’s health has been totally dismantled. Women in São Paulo continue to die of preventable diseases such as breast cancer, among others. We want a public SUS, free and universal for the whole population. We want better health for women,” she said.
Voting in Brasília
In Brasília, (Federal District), at around 3:00PM, the police engaged thousands of people demonstrating in front of the National Congress -- at times with violent force. Some protesters were injured. Federal Deputy Vicentinho (Workers’ Party-São Paulo) was hit with pepper spray and had to seek medical attention.
The objective of the demonstration in Brasília was to stop the PL 4330 bill from being voted on at 2:30PM this Tuesday. The voting was confirmed, however, in an interview this morning by the president of the House of Deputies, Eduardo Cunha, who defended the bill.