The Carnival thrashed Bolsonaro out in the streets. Now begins for real the struggle against the Pension Reform. It can be defeated. The first step is fighting against the lies spread by the government, the market and the media, and by the propaganda spread through the social networks.

Written by PSTU-Brazil

In this edition of Socialist Opinion, we bring you a special story about the Reform, explaining what is being discussed by Congress. This reform is even worse than what Temer tried to impose.

We will need to be 65 years old and have 40 years of contribution to receive our full wages as retirement. The majority of the people, who retire by age and receives R$1.500 in average, will have to work 15 to 20 years more a change the wage calculation, receiving something around 25% less.

Those who retire by age are already barely able to achieve 15 years of contribution. By stipulating 20 years, millions will be unable to retire. It also decreases from R$ 998 to R4 400 the benefit for poor elderly over 65 years. Teachers will be forced to work another 10 years and pay 30 years.

By changing the calculation and removing from the Constitution the obligation of keeping the real value of the pensions, the retired will not have their pensions adjusted by inflation. Moreover, those who are close to retirement will work more and receive less.

But the politicians, judges, and the heads of the Armed Forces will keep their supersalaries and privileges. The most privileged of all – bankers and big international and national company owners – will profit. The money will go to those who own the government’s debt: the biggest source of profit for these 1% millionaire parasites.

Saying that the Pension Reform will salve the pension system and generate millions of jobs is fake news. We must explain the truth about the cruelty of this reform and organize the struggle towards the General Strike: we must discuss with the rank and file, organize assemblies, call the unions, movements and parties who claim to be in opposition to unite to fight.

We also must demand from the leaderships of the union federations and the parties, such as the PT, the PCdoB, Ciro Gomes and the PSOL, that they do not participate in the game of negotiating the rights of the workers. We must not accept a pulling of the rug in the struggle, like these leaderships did against Temer’s labour reform. We must disallow any proposal of alternative reform or amendments, like the PT State governors are doing, exchanging support for privatization money.

It is unacceptable that leaders of unions and federation such as Força or CUT propose things such as capitalization of the pension system, which has happened according to the news. They can also not support parts of the reform in our name, like Guilherme Boulos’s (ex-candidate of the PSOL) former finance advisor, Laura Carvalho, who stated that there are “positive and negative parts in the reform”. Using this logic is trailing the path of removal of rights and of defeat for our class.

Let us unite on March 22nd, a National Day of Struggle, towards the General Strike.

In Brazil there should be full employment, and the pensions and wages should be increased. This is possible, but only if we split with the system and stop benefiting the rich 1%. Only a socialist government, in which those below rule through popular councils, can rule for the majority. It is time to open the gates for the Brazil which is not in the picture, the country of workers, the poor, Blacks, indigenous peoples, of women.

Translated by Miki Sayoko