No guarantee of rights

Same as last year


Brazil is one of the 10 worst countries in the world for working people

  • Anti-union discriminatory measures

  • Violation of collective agreements

In 2022, the situation of workers in Brazil continued to worsen as their basic collective rights were regularly violated by employers and the authorities. Since the adoption of Act No. 13467 in 2017, the entire collective bargaining system has collapsed in Brazil, with a drastic decline of 45 per cent in the number of collective agreements concluded. Workers, especially in the health sector and in the meat industry, faced the dire consequences of the appalling management of the coronavirus pandemic by President Bolsonaro, with a deterioration of working conditions and a weakening of health and safety measures.

Workers' rights violations

Prosecution of union leaders for participating in strikes

On 8 October 2021, the workers at General Motors' Chevrolet in São Caetano do Sul plant in Brazil were on strike after negotiations with the employer on wage adjustments broke down. After the union decided to launch the strike, a conciliation hearing was held at the Regional Labour Court. However, no agreement was reached between the parties. On 21 October, the Regional Labour Court declared the strike illegal. The trade union assembly decided to continue with the action. However, because of possible legal actions against the strikers, the workers had to reincorporate to work with no solution to their demands.

Right to collective bargaining

In May 2021, Santander Brazil enforced a 55 per cent pay cut on 40 bank union leaders and workers after they made a legal challenge to be paid for overtime hours. Brazil contributes to the biggest slice of profits for Spanish multinational Santander, but instead of paying these workers what they were due, the Brazilian arm of the bank demoted them and hacked their pay by more than half. Facing this arbitrary cut, the bank workers went to court and were able to secure a judgement that restored their pay grade and salaries. However, Santander Brazil has failed to comply with the order despite incurring daily fines due to non-compliance.

Unions and social movements in Brazil protested against the appalling management of the coronavirus pandemic by the government. Conditions worsened for working people as they faced violence, repression and a collapse of collective bargaining.Evaristo Sa / AFP

Workers’ rights in law

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