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Workers and Labor Justice: The two sides of freedom and struggle
Dr. Édison Freitas de Siqueira
The brazilian workers, by means of democracy, changed their own story as well as the brazilian history. Once holding the position of dominated class, they turned into a dominating class. In the past 10 years, they have elected presidents, appointed the most important Ministers of State and, also,   established the current composition of the Brazilian Superior Courts. It was meant to the Syndical leader Lula and, now, to his successor Dilma, to define and appoint 90% of the Ministers of Supreme Court (STF), Superior Court of Justice (STJ), Court of Audit (TCU) and Superior Labor Court (TST). Besides, the Workers Party (PT) hás elected Governors, Mayors and the majority of the Senators and Federal and State Deputies of the brazilian nation. For no other reason, the PT is considered the richest and most organized political party in Brazil.

This power has been consolidated in such unusual manner that this labor leaders choose, appoint or dismiss the CEOs of the wealthiest and most powerful companies in the country. They command Petrobras, Eletrobras, Banco do Brasil, Caixa Economica Federal, the Ipiranga Group, BNDES, BNDESPAR VALE, EMBRAER, Oi Brasil Telecom, at the  Regulatory Agencies in CADE. They control billions of dollars of the 34 largest private Pension Funds in Latin America, among them, PETROS, PREVI and FUNCEF.

Directly or indirectly, the labor leaders are behind the decisions of billions of dollars, that are distributed and invested through FGTS, BNDES, Banco do Brasil, Caixa é Nossa, Caixa Econômica Federal or applied in currency exchange markets, futures and Stock Exchange in Brazil and even in the USA. They are even above the law, as they chose the leaders of the inspection body that should control their activities and business. In this sense, they chose the directors and presidents of the CVM, the Central Bank, TCU and Regulatory Agencies, in addition to CADE.
The anachronism is that workers, despite winners, still insist on pretending to be an unattended class, inducing the Judiciary and the whole society to have the false impression that workers’ lives have not changed.

The changes are so significantly, that, today, the most unprotected class in Brazil is the entrepreneur. Federations and confederations of the entrepreneurial class by far do not have the importance and representativeness of the syndicates and confederations of workers.
Even so, it remains flawed the policy of imposing excessive social costs against those who create jobs. An example of that is the unemployment paycheck, benefit that rather than inhibit, has encouraged the termination of the employment contract. Many professionals seek unemployment in order to receive such a sum, which represents the workers' indemnification, composed by unemployment paycheck, notice, 13º commensurate salary, transportation passes, food vouchers, commensurate vacation and FGTS draft with fines of 40% and 10%.
Besides that, it is added the cost of "Labor Claims Industry". Lots of workers fill claims in Labor Courts, seeking moral damages, overtime and other benefits articulated by witnesses "reasonably" instructed. The risk appertain to the employer. The  company is the only part obliged to pay heavy costs, attorneys' and experts’ fees and hold hearings. The employee pays nothing and is not even criminally prosecuted when lies to obtain undue gains.

A Labor Claim is a "full plate" for opportunists. Labor sentences reward employees with immoral convictions. There are overtime sentences which assume that workers not even sleep, eat or even less have time to graduate in schools and colleges. The decisions of the Labor Court condemn even paychecks integration regarding the amount spent on training, alimentation, health plans and uniforms. Once you ask, that "justice" gives!
We need to change such reality. Workers should criticize the excesses, under penalty of denying the "power" they have reached. Applying the CLT in detriment of reality and other laws in force in Brazil is a way of indulgence that will weaken the gains achieved through democracy.

Freedom and struggle always have two sides, it is just about evolving to see!


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Édison Freitas de Siqueira Advogados Associados S/S - OAB/RS 22.136 - OAB/SC 22.281-A - OAB/GO 28.659-A - OAB/MG 92.047 - OAB/RJ 2.541-A - OAB/SP 17.2838-A - OAB/DF 2.074-A - OAB/MT 10.305-A - OAB/BA 23.016
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