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48-hour strike, protests at Brazilian consulates

LOS ANGELES (BDCi) – According to AFLEX (Association of local employees at Brazilian Foreign Missions), major protests and a 48-hour strike will be held on May 13 and 14.

The worldwide strike is to keep American citizens from getting visas to enter Brazil.

In North America and Europe, local staff of Brazilian diplomatic missions will strike on May 13, affecting major businesses who deal with Brazil as well as business and leisure travels.

The global movement will also impact Brazil’s ability to process visa requests for the upcoming World Cup.

The employees of Brazilian foreign missions are seeking immediate negotiation with AFLEX to increase salaries that will keep up with inflation. They also hope to approve Bill 246/2013, which would grant levels of hiring compensation that are fair and decent.

The right to freedom of speech, thought and expression and freedom of peaceful assembly and association are also part of their platform.

The root of the issue is that Brazilian diplomatic agents do not fully comprehend the complex labor laws that pertain to their profession. Whichever rules are most beneficial to the employer are the ones that are imposed, leading to various abuses at Brazilian diplomatic offices worldwide.

Employers argue that they experience lack of basic employment rights and privileges, like workers compensation, unemployment insurance and overtime. Furthermore, consulate agents are required to work unpaid weekends and some even monitor the 24 hour emergency hotlines without pay.

The board of directors at AFLEX, the employees association in Brazil, have recently been abused, harassed, bullied and exposed to an unhealthy work environment.

Hundreds of employees formed a petition addressed to President Dilma Rousseff asking for better working conditions. Three years later, there is still no response.

The Consulate-General of New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, Atlanta, Hartford, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Toronto, Montreal, Brussels, Bern, Rome, Milan, Rotterdam and Geneva will participate in the May 13 and 14 strike, shutdown and protests.

  By: Diego Díaz Source: Photo: Rio Times 14 May 2014

7:45 a.m. P.D.T.

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