Lava Jato & labor reform

Image: Mark Pecar


At the time when it assumes the responsibility of clearing up the facts, it cannot fail to recognize that the labor “reform” was the result and even the reason for the 2016 coup

With a long delay and without the concrete possibility of repairing all the damage caused to democratic regularity and the concrete effectiveness of fundamental constitutional rights, the STF, finally, recognized the legal excesses committed in the judicial procedures adopted in the context of Lava Jato.

It is essential, however, to move on to other situations that were also involved in the context of Lava Jato, if not as a result of a preconceived purpose, at least as a side effect of the authoritarian, anti-democratic and politically engaged logic that propelled it. Following the example of what happened in the “impeachment” of President Dilma and in the judgment of former President Lula, there were countless published texts and speeches that, at the time, denounced the abandonment of democratic procedures and constitutional guarantees that led to such events.

With regard to the second fact, the STF has already expressly recognized the irregularities in question, and it still remains to pay the bill with regard to the first. But, as I said, it will be essential to move forward, because, as I expressed myself on the occasion, both the coup against President Dilma and the condemnation of Lula were directly related to a specific objective, which was to introduce a profound downgrading of social protection in Brazil. labor and social security, in order to, with the consequent reduction of the cost of production and weakening of the unions, favor the large international conglomerates in their dynamics of reproduction of capital through the exploitation of the workforce.

The fact is that the labor “reform” implemented in Brazil in 2017 is directly linked to all these events (“impeachment”, condemnation of the former President and Lava Jato), in a cause and effect relationship, having been marked, consequently, by the same disregard for democratic precepts and constitutional guarantees.

At the moment when he assumes the responsibility of clarifying the facts, he cannot fail to recognize that the labor “reform” was the result and even the reason for the 2016 coup and was based on the same mechanisms of “democratic rupture” ( to use the expression of the rapporteur for the “reform” PL in the Chamber of Deputies, Rogério Marinho), fulfilling this task as a measure of both coherence and legitimacy of the process of rebuilding democratic regularity and respect for the constitutional order that is announced within the scope of the STF and in the manifestations of the great media.

The difficulty may be that, with regard to labor “reform”, several of the actors who today seek to play a leading role in this process of defending democracy and the authority of the Constitution, notably the STF and the traditional press vehicles, were also active participants in the dismantling and, therefore, most likely will not be willing to assume their guilt in this process.

This stance, moreover, has already been explicitly pronounced, since at the same time that it declared the procedural irregularity in the process, within the scope of Lava Jato, which led Lula to prison and prevented him from running in the 2018 election, the STF, with the conniving silence from the mainstream media, on December 18, 2020, judging ADC 58 and 59, destroyed the monetary recomposition of labor credits; assessing ADC 66, on the same date, declared the constitutionality of article 129 of Law 11.196/2005, which establishes that, for tax and social security purposes, the provision of intellectual services, including those of a scientific, artistic or cultural nature, is subject only to the legislation applicable to legal entities, regardless of whether the service is provided on a very personal basis or not, with or without the assignment of any obligations to partners or employees of the company providing services; and, on 26/03/21, judging RE 635.546, decided, in its majority composition, that the wages of outsourced workers cannot be matched to that of permanent workers (as), even if the specific case, under consideration, dealt only with equal pay between an outsourced worker and a public entity worker, approved by public tender.

Even so, it is worth insisting and mentioning once again the historical facts that demonstrate, in an unmistakable way, how the 2016 coup and Lava Jato boosted, with damage to democratic assumptions and to meet localized interests, the approval of the labor “reform”. This observation is relevant both to reaffirm the importance of the STF and other institutions that claim to be democratic to recognize this fact, as well as to ensure that, in the legal field, in a way that is completely alien to the historical reality, Law n. 13.467/17 does not continue to be applied and viewed in the form of a law like any other.

Otherwise let's see.

Everything is heading towards labor “reform”, in a more explicit and determined way, from 2014 onwards, when, to make the hosting of the World Cup in Brazil feasible, numerous concessions were made to economic power, expanding institutional fissures and feeding back the logic of the State of exception (represented by the disregard of several constitutional precepts). As a result, all barriers to contain the interests of large companies were broken and these, then, took a decisive and organized stance towards the elimination of various labor rights, as, by the way, had already been expressed, since 2012, in the document prepared by the National Confederation of Industries that set out “101 proposals for Labor Modernization”.

It so happens that, in order to be re-elected, seeking the necessary support from the labor fronts, the candidate Dilma Roussef declared: “I don't touch labor rights even if the cow coughs”.
From then on Dilma was placed under the direct focus of economic power, which, of course, assumed that it would not let pass the historic opportunity that opened up to carry out the labor relegations initiated in the 90s and that remained at the same legislative level - practically stagnant – since 2002.

Dilma, already elected, even tried to make a nod of conciliation to economic power and, in 30/12/14, edited MPs 664 and 665, which made it difficult for workers to access unemployment insurance benefits, wage bonuses, closed-season insurance, death pension, sickness benefit and prison aid.

Still along the same lines, in 06/07/15, published MP 680 (Employment Protection Program), which instituted the Employment Protection Program, through which a temporary reduction of up to thirty percent in the working hours of employees was allowed, with a proportional reduction in salary ( art. 3º.), permissive granted to companies that adhered, until 31/12/15, to the PPE and “found themselves in a situation of economic and financial difficulty, under the conditions and form established in an act of the Federal Executive Branch” (art. 2º. ).

These measures, however, did not satisfy the hunger of capital, not least because, with regard to MP 680, there were some conditions to achieve the objective, such as the need to “sign up a specific collective labor agreement”, to cover “ all employees of the company or, at least, employees of a specific sector” (§ 2, art. 3), guarantee of receiving the minimum wage; pecuniary compensation equivalent to fifty percent of the amount of the salary reduction and limited to 65% (sixty-five percent) of the maximum amount of the unemployment insurance installment, while the period of temporary reduction in working hours lasts; employment guarantee during the period in which the company's membership of the PPE is in force, extending to a period equivalent to one third of the membership period, after termination.

Realizing the opportunity given by the fragility of the government, which loses support for having broken the campaign promise, but also conceiving that the government would not go as far as to meet, at the required level, the pretensions of economic power, the PMDB, even as part of the government , in 29/10/15, presents to the economic sector its program “A Bridge to the Future”, which foresaw the carrying out of “structural reforms” necessary to boost the economy, even talking about changes in laws and the Constitution, whose “dysfunctionalities” should be corrected.

It is true that the program in question, although it spoke of “reforms”, did not provide any concrete information on what would be done about it, only expressly mentioning, in the social security area, the raising of the minimum age for retirement, and, in the labor issue, to an action to “allow collective agreements to prevail over legal norms, except for basic rights”[I].

In any case, this indication made to the economic power, was the impetus that was missing for the opening of the process of impeachment, which also appears as a solution to the impasse.

Thus, after Eduardo Cunha welcomed, in 02/12/15, the request of impeachment, which begins to be discussed in the Chamber in 04/12/15[ii], the business sector began to manifest itself expressly in favor of the removal of the President, having the perception that, given the potential weakening of democratic institutions (which had already been manifesting itself, it is worth remembering, in explicit formulas of a State of exception, since 2013 ), whether it would have the opportunity to materialize a desire already expressed in 1989, that is, to destroy the formalization of a Social State brought in the 1988 Constitution, notably in aspects of the position of fundamental rights that was conferred to the rights of workers and society. relevance given to the Labor Court, especially after EC45/04, when its jurisdictional competence was expanded[iii].

FIESP and CIESP only expressed themselves expressly in favor of the impeachment em 14/12/2015[iv]; the CNA, in 06/04/2016; the CNI and the CNT, in 14/04/2016, that is, three days before the vote in the Chamber, which took place in 17/04/16. FEBRABAN did not comment on the matter (which does not mean that it was against it, of course).

One day before the vote in the Chamber, as a way of justifying the impeachment, already envisaged as essential for the “recovery of the economy”, the President of FIESP, Paulo Skaf, in an interview granted to the newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo, published in the edition of 16/04/16[v], announced: “With the resumption of confidence [read: with the impeachment of Dilma and a Temer government], the economy will resume growth, and it won't take long. Credit must be given to the president who takes office. (…) There was no way to solve the economy without changing the government.”

And the President of the CNA (National Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock), João Martins, on the same day, speaking to Deputies from the ruralist group, said: “The harsh reality is that the current government chose the wrong path by adopting measures that affected the stability of the economy and provoked the growth of unemployment (…) the closure of 100 thousand commercial establishments throughout the country, generating 10 million unemployed and with the government losing all credibility with the population and the international financial community (…). Changing the country, rebuilding the economy, carrying out structural reforms, for example, social security and labor legislation, are complex tasks to be carried out after the impeachment is approved.”

The so-called “fiscal pedal” was the (political-legal) argument for approving the “impeachment”, but the motivation was the desperate attempt by the economic sector to take advantage of the historic window to impose labor setbacks.

This motivation and the modus operandi are the factors that define “impeachment” as an authentic institutional coup linked to the interests of a very restricted sector of society, even if disguised by the general interest discourses of the fight against corruption and administrative morality.

It so happens that after a month of Temer's inauguration – still on a temporary basis, since the impeachment was still ongoing – no government action was taken towards a labor reform. And the PL 4.330/04 itself - on outsourcing, which was a big business bet and which had already been approved in the Chamber on 23/04/15, encountered strong social and political obstacles since when it started to be discussed in the Senate, from 28 /04/15, with number PLC 30/15, with Senator Paulo Paim as rapporteur, appointed on 17/08/15.

Enter Lava Jato then.

Faced with the inertia of the government, which did not deliver what it had promised, in 19/05/16, the news was released that some members of the government, including Ministers, were involved in accusations of Lava Jato[vi].

The government did not get the message and continued not to get so rigorously involved with labor reform, since it expressly gave priority to social security reform, as stated by the Minister of Labor, Ronaldo Nogueira, in 20/05/16: “The ministry will listen to the workers because the labor reform is a second step. First, the government is working to seek a consensus with regard to Social Security”[vii].

The Minister was even applauded by trade unionists when he announced: “no measure will be announced without first building a consensual base with the trade unions” [viii].

Consequence: on the day 08/06/16, 150 businessmen from different sectors, given the opportunity of the political crisis, went to the Planalto to meet with the President (until then, interim), express their support for the government and take the opportunity to remind him of the commitment assumed with regard to structural reforms in social security and labor legislation[ix].

The government, revealing the pact made with this segment of society, the business sector and the mainstream media, publicly reaffirmed its purpose of implementing the so-called “unpopular measures” to carry out the so-called “structural reforms” and, shall we say, changed the course of prose .

The Ministers of the Temer government, then, went public to make the will of business an official voice of the State.

Em 18/06/16, the Minister of Labor then goes on to talk about the need to change labor legislation: “We need to have an employment contract that spells out the rules more clearly, regarding the rights and guarantees of the worker”[X].

The Minister of the Civil House, the same one who announced the end of Lava Jato, explaining that she should know when to stop[xi], to justify the end of the CLT, said, on the same date, that “... the 40s and 46s were left behind a long time ago”, stating that if there was any reason for the labor legislation created by Getúlio Vargas at that time, these reasons no longer exist[xii].

And he went further by expressing that: “…we have to look towards tomorrow, (see what) the developed countries are doing, and we have to do it here. This issue of what was agreed upon versus what was legislated, with what was agreed upon over what was legislated, that is the world. We are not here inventing the wheel. This is the case in the world today, given the competitiveness that has been established to have a job. Everyone (is) trying to pursue full employment. So the forms of hiring have to be made easier.”

The President of the CNI felt so comfortable with the country's political situation, extremely favorable to the economic sector, that, in 11/07/16, came to say[xiii] that in order to recover the competitiveness of companies it would be necessary to increase the work limit from 44 to 80 hours per week. True, he later reconsidered his speech to clarify that he mentioned the limit of 60 hours per week[xiv] and not the 80's.

The big media also tried to do their part and, on the day 20/07/16, the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo highlighted the news (which was concretely an ultimatum) that the government would send to the National Congress, by the end of the year, three proposals for labor reforms[xv].

The government knew how to take advantage of the situation and, in 24 / 08 / 16, days before the vote impeachment of President Dilma in the Senate, called businessmen to an event at the Planalto Palace and, in a public demonstration, did what? He defended the labor reform, which, of course, was quickly covered in the press.[xvi].

With all this apparatus of promises and commitments assumed by the interim government, in 31/08/16, the coup is consolidated through the definitive approval of the impeachment in the Senate.
It turns out that, on the day 8/9/16, in process RE 895.759 (1159), Minister Teori Zavascki, in a monocratic decision, following the same line already opened by the decision issued in RE 590.415, of April 30, 2015 (rapporteur Minister Roberto Barroso), accepted the validity of a collective norm which fixed the maximum limit of hours “in itinere”, even making an apology for what was negotiated over what was legislated.

On 14/09/16, the Supreme, reflecting the political moment, probably for the first time in its entire history, designated an agenda composed entirely of processes that related to labor issues. And it was a carefully chosen agenda, since the questions, all of them, were linked to the theme of flexibility. That is, an agenda was drawn up with the aim of promoting an authentic labor jurisprudential “reform”, going over the understandings, in the same matters, already expressed by the TST, as verified in the content of the judgments handed down.

In the judgment of ADIN 4842 (rapporteur, Minister Celso de Melo), the STF declared art. 5 of Law no. 11.901/09, which sets the working day of civil firefighters at 12 hours, followed by 36 hours of rest and limited to 36 hours per week, contrary to the daily limitation established in art. 7, XIII, of the Federal Constitution.

In the same session of the day 14/9/16, Minister Roberto Barroso, calling Minister Marco Aurélio de Melo to the dialogue, said: “every tendency of contemporary Labor Law is towards the flexibilization of relations and the collectivization of discussions”. And Minister Marco Aurélio added: “Fact. Sooner or later we are going to have to go for this reform”.

Faced with this explicit manifestation by the STF, Temer sees the opportunity to not go ahead with the discomfort of the labor reform, declaring, on the following day, 15/09/16, who was not an “idiot” to eliminate labor rights and even announced that he would postpone the presentation of any labor amendments until 2017, keeping the focus on social security reform[xvii].

Em 21/09/16, the government makes official its position in the sense of postponing, to the 2nd semester of 2017, the discussions around the labor reform. The Minister of Labor states: “We are only at the stage of studies and debates, because the issue is complex and needs the participation of all the sectors involved”. And he clarifies that before discussing changes in the labor law, the government would focus on the recovery of the economy[xviii].

But, even if the STF had presented itself as an agent of reform, this, of course, was not to the full satisfaction of the business sector that inflated Temer's arrival in power, since in this way the regulation of the capital relationship would remain under the control of the Judiciary. - work and what this sector wanted was much more than that; was to eliminate state intermediation and directly control the workforce. In addition, the decisions of the STF, although flexible, did not go to the intended point of total overthrow of labor rights, even going so far as to maintain unshaken the principles of Labor Law and the very authority of the Labor Court.

Despite several STF decisions favorable to the economic sector, the need to return to the issue of labor reform within the scope of the legislature was perceived.

It was then that, in another coincidence, on the day 10/12/16, “leaks” to the mainstream media the information that Temer’s name had been mentioned 43 times in Odebrecht’s accusations[xx].

This time the message was perfectly understood and, in response, the government immediately returned to the issue of labor reform.

On 17/12/16, the Minister of Labour, completely altering his previous speech, went public to say that the government would make a proposal for a labor reform, not knowing, however, what that reform would be. He only said that there could be the adoption of “intermittent work”, also explaining that there was no consensus on this matter.[xx].

It is evident, therefore, that the government, as it had already stated, did not have a concrete proposal for labor reform, at least one that was the result of studies, with projections and expectations. What was intended at that moment, with that information, was merely to stifle the harmful effects of the latest news. But it can also be said that the government was pressured to carry out the promise it had made to carry out the “unpopular” labor reform.

That's how it was organized, just 5 days later, that is, in 22/12/16, a large platform at the Planalto Palace, to announce the presentation of any bill and to inform that the release, as of February 1, 2017, of inactive FGTS accounts would take effect.

The government managed, in this way, to change the agenda of the mainstream media, taking the focus away from the complaint involving Temer and putting the news of the labor reform on the front pages, at the same time that it calmed businessmen – and also workers, with the release of the FGTS –, keeping both in expectation.

But, it's worth noticing. The government did not have its own labor reform project. The draft that he presented to the National Congress, the following day, in 23/12/16 (where it received the number PL 6.787/16), with the nickname of a mini-reform, it was done in a hurry to stifle the political crisis; it had a miserable 9 pages, including the justification, and changed only 7 articles of the CLT, in addition to proposing a reformulation of Law n. 6.019/16 (temporary work).

At the same time, as already mentioned, PLC 30/15 was being processed in the Federal Senate, which provided for the expansion of outsourcing, but as the social reaction against the project was strong, favored by the performance of the rapporteur, Senator Paulo Paim, it was necessary to do something so that the node tied to the outsourcing issue was also untied.

The impetus for the outcome came with new news about Lava Jato.

On 03/03/17, information was released that the “first” Lava Jato denouncement of the year had been accepted that day[xxx].

On the same day, March 03, 2017, the news is released[xxiii] that the Chamber intended to resume the processing of PL 4.302/98, taking care of temporary work (even though it was already mentioned in PL 6786/16), but that it also made mention, albeit not very precisely, of outsourcing, with permission for the core business of companies.

PL 4.302/98 was practically without processing[xxiii], highlighting only one movement request, addressed to the President of the Chamber, formulated by Fecomércio, on 10/01/17, which was forwarded to the CCJC, on 25/01/17, where it was filed on 26/01/ 17.

On 21/03/17, the Federal Police launched the first operation referring to the names denounced by the Odebrecht accusation, involving 4 senators, in 4 states[xxv] and, on the same day, on March 21, all the “pendencies” of PL 4.302/98 were resolved and the project was sent to plenary and approved in 22/03/17.

The result was that such an accelerated procedure had never been seen before. The PL was sanctioned by Temer, in 31/03/17, becoming Law n. 13.429/17, published on the same day in the Federal Official Gazette.

And the Lava Jato link, or its use, even if on the initiative of the mainstream media, to achieve certain ends, is more evident when (after carrying out the labor “reform”), in 11/04/17[xxiv], the “Fachin list” of those denounced by Lava Jato was released in 11/04/17[xxv], and Temer's name did not appear. Although there was a legal basis for this “disappearance”, due to his holding the office of the Presidency of the Republic, the concrete fact is that, as has already been expressed[xxviii], some “legal assessments” must be made in order not to allow the “stability of the country” to be shaken. In this case, stability was sustained, even if on quicksand, to meet the purpose of carrying out the labor and social security reforms, which was what, contradictorily, motivated the shake-up of democracy and the country's institutions. Remember, moreover, that to date – since the “reform” has been delivered – no investigation against Temer has been carried out, even though, as seen, his name appeared 43 times in Odebrecht's accusations. And it is also important not to forget that the “reform” was carried out by several parliamentarians denounced on the “Fachin list”.

In the final report of PL 6.787/16, presented the day after the release of the Fachin list, that is, in 12/04/17, there was not, initially (on 23/12/16), a labor reform project, as shown above, but in just four months (it should be considered that, in fact, the procedure begins in 09/02/17, when the Special Commission for Reform was installed and Deputy Rogério Marinho was elected as rapporteur, which resulted in meager two months of processing) the rickety and unsubstantiated PL turned into a 132-page text, including the Opinion, proposing the amendment of more than 200 provisions in the CLT, among articles and paragraphs, all in the same direction, that of protecting the interests of large economic conglomerates – straying, therefore, from all historical tradition of formation and consolidation of labor norms.

Em 18/04/17, however, the government lost the vote in Congress to include the project on an urgent basis[xxviii]. But the government's allied base did not give up and, in yet another disrespect to the rules of the democratic game, the matter was put to the vote again the following day, 19/04/17, when, then, the urgency was approved[xxix].

On 22/04/17 the news was published that the main companies mentioned in Lava Jato had dismissed 600 thousand people, in the last 3 years, without making any critical consideration about it, that is, naturalizing the dismissals.

Without expressly saying, the news points to the need for a limitation of Lava Jato, highlighting its “side effects”[xxx].

In addition, it had the function of spreading the idea that corrupting companies should be forgiven because, in addition to having contributed to the accusations, they are still being victims of the economic effects of the process, which, indirectly, serves to justify the labor counter-reforms, which could help them in their recovery, favoring the government in the dissemination of employment increase numbers due to the reform, even if, in fact, it is underemployment.

Coincidence or not, the next day, in 23/04/17, the President of Natura went public to defend Temer's maintenance in power until 2018[xxxii].

On an emergency basis, in 26/04/17, the substitute for PL 6787 / 16 was approved by the Chamber of Deputies.

It turns out that two days later, in 28/04/17, what was considered the biggest general strike in the history of Brazil took place, called by all the trade union centrals and with an estimated participation of 35 million people, reaching all regions of the country, having also been integrated by several social movements and a relevant portion of organized youth.

As an effect of the force of the strike, when the “reform” PL begins to be discussed in the Senate, in 02/05/17, already under the number PLC 38 / 2017, it is not assigned the emergency regime.

On the other hand, the conduct of the process involving the “Fachin list” already showed signs that it would be eternalized in the STF.

In addition, according to a survey carried out by Datafolha, published in 1/05/17, 64% of Brazilians understood that the labor reform voted in Congress was to favor business interests[xxxi].

The same survey also pointed out that 71% were against the social security reform[xxxii].

Seeing the risk of the opportunity being lost, the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo, through an editorial of the day 02/05/17, titled “Dores da Democracia”, reproducing an old call from a minister during the dictatorship, sent his itch of conscience in favor and went public to defend the idea that governments should not comply with the wishes of the majority of the population if they so demand the economic needs[xxxv].

But to demonstrate that retreat on this matter could not be tolerated, since in the Federal Senate there was a glimpse of a political dispute much greater than that which took place in the Chamber of Deputies, in 17/05/17 The news leaks about the recording of the conversation between the owner of JBS and President Temer[xxxiv].

The card, it is true, was very strong and the economic sector itself came to admit that the government, knocked out by the news, would not be able to carry out the reforms. In any case, he made it clear that he would give up the government, but not the “reforms”.

Thus, what seemed like a possible turnaround in the attacks on labor rights turned out to be an even more tragic situation for workers, because the government and all other forces began to act in an all-or-nothing logic, without caring about any limits. or appearance, to get the labor “reform” approved.

The issue of “reform” has become a lifeline for the government and a matter of honor and assertion of power for the economic sector.

With that, more than quickly the government went public to promise that the labor “reform” would be approved quickly[xxxiv].

Within the logic of all or nothing and no longer caring about any veneer to disguise the situation, the rapporteur for the labor “reform” in the Chamber, deputy Rogério Marinho, when, on the day 17/05/17, participated in a public hearing in the Federal Senate, confessed that the “reform” was the result of a “rupture of the democratic process”.

Twenty-one days after the beginning of the processing of the PL in the Senate, more precisely, on the day 23 / 05 / 17, Senator Ricardo Ferraço's report was ready. The report was presented on the same day at the Economic Affairs Committee of the Federal Senate. And, due to divergence regarding the procedure established in the CAE session, the report was not read, but, by authoritarian deliberation and outside the regulatory parameters, it was considered read (and none of that mattered anymore).

The report acknowledged the existence of technical deficiencies in the Project, but to prevent it from being approved with Amendments, which would determine the return of the project to the Chamber, the opinion recommended that the President of the Republic, through Provisional Measures, promote the proposed alterations in the opinion.

Demonstrating that he was really willing to do anything to carry out the “reform”, almost as a matter of life and death, in the afternoon of the day 24/05/17, Temer issues a Decree, authorizing the use of the Armed Forces to contain a large demonstration that was announced against the “reform” bill.

Afterwards, it was the head of the Executive himself, in one more of the many meetings he held with representatives of the capital, on the same day 24/05/17, who guaranteed that, political crisis aside, Congress would continue working to advance the reforms, with which, of course, the businessmen agreed[xxxviii].

Subsequently, in 30/05/17, the same gentleman, in a new speech given to businessmen, this time at the Brazil Investment Forum 2017, expressing that there was no plan “B”, reiterated that the government would remain committed to labor and social security reforms[xxxviii].

At the same event, accompanying the Chief Executive, the President of the Federal Senate Eunício de Oliveira and the President of the Chamber of Deputies Rodrigo Maia attended, the latter of whom, after defending his position, which can be read as an appeal or a proposal for adjustment of interests, that Brazil did not need a change in the Presidency of the Republic, made it quite clear that the Chamber of Deputies was (and certainly still is) committed to the agenda of the financial market[xxxix].

Em 06 / 06 / 17, the report prepared by senator Ricardo Ferraço is approved by the CAE – Economic Affairs Commission.

The government, with the clear objective of earning a living, announces that it would give priority to the approval of the labor reform in the Senate[xl].

Em 20/06/17, the government experiences a defeat with the rejection of the opinion in the CAS – Social Affairs Commission[xi].

In the meantime, in 26/06/17, Attorney Rodrigo Janot files a complaint against Temer at the STF[xliii], which, on the other hand, increases the government's commitment to the approval of the “reform”.

On the same day 26/06/17, the President of Fiesp went public to express that it would be up to the institution to manifest about resignation and policy[xiii].

So in 28/06/17, the opinion is approved by the Constitution and Justice Commission, being able to be put to a vote in the plenary of the Federal Senate[xiv].

Em 29/06/17, the complaint against Temer reaches the Chamber of Deputies[xlv].

In the race against time, in 04/07/17, the Senate plenary approves the urgency regime for voting on PLC 38/17[xlv] is on 11/07/17, approves, without modifications, the Bill that came from the Chamber, it should be noted that, at the time, the Senate website presented a survey in which 172.168 people were against the “reform” and only 16.791 in favor.

It was quite embarrassing, to say the least, the way in which the vote on the labor “reform” took place in the Senate, with several Senators explicitly saying that they did not agree with the content of the text they were approving, but that they did so because they had a document signed by President Temer, which promised to correct the inconsistencies and unconstitutionalities recognized through the issuance of a Provisional Measure.

But there was no space for this totally anti-democratic and legally irregular way in which the voting took place to have repercussions in the media because, in yet another coincidence, the next day, that is, in 12/07/17, was the day that former judge Sérgio Moro chose to publish and report in the mainstream press the conviction of former President Lula[xlv]. And, incontinent, the dollar goes down, demonstrating the enormous satisfaction of the economic power with all this[xlviii].

That was how, with a great ceremony held in Planalto, on the day 13/07/17, the government sanctions the “reform” bill and, in 14/07/17, Law nº 13.467/17 is published – while the media is connected to the conviction of the former President.

To close the circle, in 02/08/17, the complaint against Temer is rejected in the Chamber of Deputies (and no investigation against Temer is followed).

It is not being said that the direct actors of Lava Jato intended or acted towards labor “reform” – a hypothesis that cannot be completely ruled out either, given the political-ideological engagement demonstrated in the revealed messages – but rather that the dynamics of Lava Jato , of leaving the political sector under threat and consequent control, was intentionally used by the economic sector, with the support of the mainstream media and the conniving silence of the other democratic institutions, to carry forward the project to approve the “reform” law, going over of all the regulatory postulates of voting on a law of this magnitude and its notorious social, political and economic effects, affecting national sovereignty itself and the preservation of internally produced wealth.

These are the facts that, as has already been publicly recognized in relation to the lawsuit against former President Lula and that one day will still have to be recognized with regard to the coup committed against former President Dilma, have driven the labor “reform” and which , therefore, undeniably vitiate the entire procedure for approving Law no. 13.467/17.

If we really want to clean up Brazil and rebuild the democratic foundations and sociability ties rooted in solidarity and respect for other people's lives, Human Rights, Fundamental Rights and Social Rights, this recognition, followed by the immediate declaration of the illegitimacy of this law, needs to be expressed urgently.

However, tragically, what has been witnessed is, first, an intense demobilization of labor organizations, without the strength, therefore, to guide this debate; second, a resigned and somewhat alienated labor litigation and jurisdiction, applying Law n. 13.467/17 as if none of these facts had occurred; and, finally, the STF and the mainstream media, who speak out as protagonists in the defense of democracy and the Constitution, allying themselves with the current government – ​​of which they present themselves as “opponents” in other matters – to promote, corroborate or applaud the deepening of the dismantling of labor, which is accompanied by an increase in the suffering of the class that lives – or would live – off work.

​What cannot be done, in any way, is to recognize the procedural irregularities of Lava Jato in the aspect of having been used to interfere in a targeted way in national political life, promoting, as a result, the annulment of many of its acts and, at the same time, turning a blind eye to the deleterious and undue influence of Lava Jato in the forwarding and approval of the labor “reform” law, since this contradictory posture represents a certain compromising alliance with the same irregularities that, with an air of “savior” of the homeland”, is denounced, not to mention the even more serious effects of continuing to promote and validate the “reform” and of erasing the facts from history, allowing its characters, with their responsibilities, to remain forgotten.

*Jorge Luiz Souto Maior is a professor of labor law at the Faculty of Law at USP. Author, among other books, of Moral damage in employment relationships (Studio editors).




[iii]. And it was already possible to glimpse how labor rights were at risk: SOUTO MAIOR, Jorge Luiz. “2015: Old attacks and new resistances.” In:
[iv]., accessed on 14/07/16.





[ix]. CARNEIRO, Mariana, WIZIACK, Júlio and CRUZ, Valdo. “Businessmen mark act in support of Temer.” Folha de S. Paulo, June 8, 2016, p. 1 – Market.

[X]., accessed on 18/06/16.

[xi]., accessed on 18/06/16.

[xii]., accessed on 18/06/16.

[xiii]., accessed on 11/07/16.

[xiv]., accessed on 11/07/16.

[xv]., accessed on 22/07/16.

[xvi]. , accessed on 27/08/16











[xxviii]. The same argument that had already been suggested as the basis for the assessment of the Dilma-Temer ticket trial process:








[xxxiv]., accessed on 06/08/17.
















See this link for all articles