The approval by the Low Chamber of the PEC 241 [Constitutional Amendment], on October 10th, unleashed a huge reaction by the movement and posed the necessity and the possibility of a general strike to defeat the reforms of Temer and the corrupt Congress.
Por Opinião Socialista – Editorial Team
The workers’ and youth disposal to struggle is high, and the expectation about the unification and construction of a general strike is even higher. What is left is to know if the Federations are capable of driving this task, and if they will be capable of choosing a unified date and define a common program to impose a general strike to defeat the reforms.
Temer’s government wants to load the crisis on the workers and youth shoulders to benefit bankers and businessmen instead. To it, he is driving a series of measures of attack to the rights and social conquests that, in case of definitive approval, will cost major losses and damages to the workers, the poor people, and Brazil’s sovereignty itself.
The Constitutional Amendment of the “Costs ceiling” [PEC 241] will represent a brutal cut of social costs, specially regarding health and education, as much as the reduction of the minimum wage and the Social Security adjustment. The BP [Bill Project] 257, forwarded to the Congress by Dilma, also imposes serious damages to the public workers for 20 years, starting by the ban of the extension of validity and the increase of the Social Security contributions.
The Provisory Measure of Reform of Middle School is another one of the attacks of Temer’s government. And then there will come the Social Security and Labour reforms, establishing a minimum age for retirement and imposing labour rights flexibility. As the attacks are harsh, the government and the Congress are running to pass everything as quick as possible, and they are driving campaigns to deceive the population.
The workers and the youth can avoid these attacks, not only because they are not defeated but because there is disposal to struggle. It is enough to look at the demonstrations and stoppages of the public sectors, the bank workers’ strike, the metal workers national strike on September 29, the strikes in general, the schools’ occupation and innumerable mobilizations taking place all over the country.
However, it is necessary to explain to the file and rank the meaning of each one of this attacks, and to organize a general strike to defeat them. It is possible to defeat the reforms and the neo-liberal adjustment as a whole, but to do it the Federations must call a unified general strike, unifying the date and the program.
On October 17, the Federations made a first debate about this. A new meeting was estimated for the next days. The CSP-Conlutas states it is necessary to call a unified date and program for a national strike. It is not enough just talking about a national strike: we need to act honestly and build it in practice. To launch dates not previously talking to all involved entities is opposed to the possibility of existence of a real national strike with rallies. To launch several dates for general actions, called unilaterally and bureaucratically, will only difficult the construction of unity and serves to exahust the movement.
Let us unify the whole working class in a major general strike and defeat the social security and labour reforms, the PEC 241, and defend our rights, jobs, health, education and housing.
The Rich Must Be The Ones To Pay For The Crisis
The government says it is necessary to make these reforms to cut costs and save money because the country has none. What the government does not say is the proposal is to reduce costs with the poor to give it the rich. Temer does not say that, in the present, 42% of Brazil’s incomes goes directly to the bankers’ pockets through the payment of the debt. The government does not say either that the “business grant”, which is to say the millionaire subsidies by the government to the big firms, remains intact and is actually much higher than the Family Grant, for example; plus, it is sent to the foreigner in form of national and international bank profit remittances, meaning thousands of millions of Reales, but no taxes income. Just in 2014 and 2015, US$52.000 millions were sent to the outside of the country.
And if all this was not enough, Temer says the country has no money but just offered US$10.000 millions to the IMF, organism forcing the countries to exploit their workers to give the money to the international banks. The workers should not pay for this crisis. Let the rich pay for it. Out with Temer! Out with All of Them! For a workers’ government based on Popular Councils.
Translation: Sofia Ballack.
Editorial of Opinião Socialista n.° 527 – October 20, 2016.