News Release

Brazil: As “Coup” Government Targets Retirement Benefits, General Strike Rocks Nation


B92764DF-2D4D-44FB-B068-F58C7C9B35BF_cx0_cy6_cw0_w250_r1_sALEXANDER MAIN, [in D.C.] via Dan Beeton, @ceprdc
Senior associate for international policy at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, Main recently wrote the piece “
Congress must take attacks on Brazilian democracy seriously” for The Hill.

Mendonca is project director for the Feminist Alliance for Rights at the Center for Global Women’s Leadership, Rutgers University.

She said today: “Yesterday, a large demonstration in Sao Paulo took 300,000 people to the streets with the slogan ‘Fora Temer’ [‘Out, Temer’]. He is targeting people’s retirement benefits.

“The general strike included bus and metro workers, bank workers, metallurgical and chemical workers, teachers and other public workers all over the country.

“[Temer’s proposal would establish] that workers can only retire when they are 65 yeas old, when the average life expectancy in Brazil is 72.

“Most workers would need to contribute for 49 years to be able to receive full retirement benefits. Many will die before that.

“Low income women, domestic workers, teachers, farmworkers and other vulnerable sectors that work under harmful conditions will suffer even more.

“This ‘reform’ particularly harms women, who earn up to 30 percent less than men.

“Many specialists explain that there is no deficit in the pension system, which is the argument for the proposed reform.

“This fiction was created by the Temer administration to undermine labor rights. And this policy will not help improve the economy. It will generate more economic and social instability.

“The constitutional amendment proposed by the Temer administration will undermine fundamental rights established by the Democratic Constitution of 1988.

“This illegitimate government [of Temer] that took power after a parliamentary coup against elected president Dilma Rousseff is implementing policies that violate basic rights, taking the country back to a situation similar to the years of military dictatorship.”