Over 800,000 workers took to the streets against the “reform” of the Retirement Law

Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Info Source: 
Brasil de Fato – São Paulo / The Dawn News /

150,000 people mobilized in Belo Horizonte against coup president Michel Temer’s plan to modify the Retirement Law.

The intense calendar of struggles against the Proposal for Constitutional Amend (PEC) No. 287/2016—which changes the retirement legislation in Brazil—have begun with mobilizations and strikes all over the country. According to the Brazil Popular Front, which organizes the action along with People Without Fear, over 800 thousand workers took to the streets on Wednesday, March 15 2017.

There were also protests in Manaus, Salvador, Cuiabá, João Persona, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Natal, Porto Alegre, Florianópolis and Aracaju.

Many unions struck against this attack on workers’ rights, including bank workers, metal workers, chemists, municipal and state teachers, and public servants.

PEC 287/2016 raises the minimum age for men and women to retire to 65 years old, and demands a minimum of 49 years of retirement deductions to be able to receive the full benefits of retirement. Some benefits will also be decoupled from basic salary, effectively reducing the value of retirement over time.

In Brasilia, protesters occupied the Ministry of Finance. Over 1,500 people from different movements participated in this action. The organizations involved were: the Landless Workers’ Movement (MST), the Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB), the Female Farmers’ Movement, the National Coordination of Quilombos, the Movement of Workers for Rights, the Struggle for Land Movement, the Movement of Homeless Workers, and also teachers and workers linked to the Unified Central of Workers.

A communiqué by the movements read: ‘The loss of rights and the onslaught promoted by Temer’s government are the main reason for this occupation, which focuses on the struggle against the retirement reform issued by Michel Temer in December last year.”

The organizations denounced that while the government justifies the reforms alleging it suffers from budget deficit, corporations benefit from tax exemptions.