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  • Brazilians came out to the street Wednesday against President Jair Bolsonaro’s pension reform proposal.

    Brazilians came out to the street Wednesday against President Jair Bolsonaro’s pension reform proposal. | Photo: Reuters

Published 22 February 2019

"In the old days, slaves were freed when they turned 60, but with the new reforms, we'll have to work until we die. I don't accept this. And I don't accept that they are lowering my salary. We are going to continue fighting," stated Neuma.

A massive mobilization of tens of thousands of municipal government workers concluded, Friday, in front of City Hall to protest against austerity and neoliberal measures, that have affected municipal workers.

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Brazil: Bolsonaro Seeks To Up Retirement Age in Pension Reform

teleSUR’s Brian Mier was at the protest and reported that the mobilization concluded in a public assembly to vote in favor of continuing a two weeks-long strike that has closed 70 percent of the city's public schools.

Sergio, a union leader, stated that people were striking in front of Sao Paulo's City Hall, and that they would continue the strikes, "because we met with Mayor Bruno Covas today and he didn't give us any answers at all. He is eliminating the right to strike, and won't reverse the workers' salary cuts."

According to teleSUR's correspondent, Mayor Covas has raised pension deductions for city workers' from 11 to 14 percent and turned the pension fund management over to a private company. When the workers announced their strike on February 4th, he threatened to sue the unions.

During the Assembly, the workers voted to continue the strike and to join a nationwide strike against Jair Bolsonaro's neoliberal pension reforms. "I am here defending women, because they (the government) want to raise our retirement age to 65 and we don't accept this," said Neuma, a Union member present in Friday's protests.

After the Assembly decided to continue the nationwide strike, workers marched for 5 kilometers through downtown Sao Paulo, in the rain, shutting down rush hour traffic, and calling for another march if their demands were not met.

In Brazil, the current retirement rules do not require a minimum age. A full retirement, which means an amount equal to 80% of the highest contributions, can be obtained after 35 years of working contributions for men, and 30 years of contributions for woman.

"In the old days, slaves were freed when they turned 60, but with the new reforms, we'll have to work until we die. I don't accept this. And I don't accept that they are lowering my salary. We are going to continue fighting," stated Neuma.


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