Labour reform respects collective rights, ILO confirms
The Conference Committee on the Application of Standards of the International Labour Organization (ILO) concluded on Thursday (7 June) that the modernisation of Brazilian labour legislation does not violate Convention 98 of the organisation, which addresses collective bargaining. The decision ends the speculation that the country would be eliminating labour rights with the changes in the law. "After hearing the arguments of the workers, employers and the government, the commission decided only to request additional information from the Brazilian government," said Labour Minister Helton Yomura, who participated in the organisation's 107th International Conference in Geneva, Switzerland.
In its decision, the ILO asks for details and an analysis of the terms of application of the principles of "free and voluntary collective bargaining in the labour reform" and information on "tripartite consultations with the social partners on labour reform". The Commission also admitted that the analysis was done "outside the regular cycle", i.e. it did not obey the regular deadlines, since the Brazilian case would normally be reassessed only in 2019, not during the 2018 Conference.
According to the labour Minister, the objective of the workers' representative was for the Commission to declare that there was incompatibility between the provisions of the labour reform - particularly those that establish negotiated agreements prevail over legislated standards - and ILO Convention 98. But the Commission did not find enough technical arguments to justify any contrary manifestation by the ILO to the labour modernisation measures promoted by Brazil. The main claim was that the prevalence of negotiations over what has been legislated could lead to the suppression of rights. "This does not happen, because labour rights have constitutional protection and cannot be withdrawn, nor is there a reform of the Constitution itself," Yomura explained.