The case of Fundacentro

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By LEO VINICIUS LIBERATO*

At Fundacentro we can observe very little democracy and the symbiosis, or tacit pact, between external managers (the party bureaucracy) and an internal mobilization of resentments

Stating that we are living in a period of emergence of fascism (or fascisms) in Brazil and around the world is almost a commonplace. The same can be said about a withering away of existing democracy, concomitant and related phenomena. But outside of the mediatized palace disputes, close to the daily lives of workers, in the workplace, how does the advance of fascism and the deterioration of democracy exist and how does it feel?

At the Casa Rui Barbosa Foundation (linked to the Ministry of Culture), both in the Jair Bolsonaro government and in the current Lula government, the presidents were chosen without the civil servants being consulted, going over the institution's internal regulations. Thus bypassing this bit of institutionalized democracy[I].

However, I will deal here with another federal foundation, in which I work as a Technologist: Fundacentro, linked to the Ministry of Labor. In it one can observe the symbiosis, or tacit pact, between external managers (the party bureaucracy) and an internal mobilization of resentments. This symbiosis or pact has resulted in a direct attack on the little institutionalized democracy at Fundacentro.

To address this case of the destruction of democracy at work, in addition to addressing historically and with a concrete example the mobilization of resentments as the psychosocial basis of fascism, I will have to present the reader with explanations relating to the rules of work and organization at Fundacentro, as well as facts that occurred . These facts are corroborated by witnesses or documentation.

The text is divided into four sections. In the first, I present a political and sociological definition of resentment and some expressions of the policy of resentment that emerges among Fundacentro employees: the attack on internal democracy, a crusade that directly affects Science & Technology Analysts and a crusade to subject employees to electronic point . In the second section I deal with the replacement of class struggle by resentment as a characteristic of historical fascism, and I present a comparison of concrete struggles in the present to illustrate this distinction. In the third section I try to explain the symbiosis between external managers and this fascism at Fundacentro. In an epilogue, I present the normalization in 2023, by the current management of Fundacentro, of instruments and expressions of organizational bullying that were instituted in the previous government.

Beyond what it may mean in the present, this text is a modest collaboration so that, in the future, we can understand the mechanisms behind the rise of this neo-fascism and democratic deterioration where life is actually lived, far from palace and party disputes. Let it be useful to understand that in the labyrinths of this neo-fascism, the color of the party does not define a position of antagonism: fascism gains space in the relationship with managers, of different colors, in the convergence of interests or political convenience.

The politics of resentment: against workers and against democracy

Fundacentro is a federal institution whose mission is research and dissemination of knowledge in occupational health and safety. In addition to its headquarters in São Paulo, it currently has thirteen Decentralized Units (DUs) across the country. Nowadays there are only around 160 employees, who are part of the federal Science & Technology career. In yet another expression of the organizational bullying that Fundacentro has been experiencing since 2019[II], at the end of 2023 the management of Pedro Tourinho de Siqueira, from the PT of Campinas, began to disrespect the regulatory duties of the Fundacentro Internal Commission (CIF), emptying and suppressing in practice the functions of one of the few internal bodies with some institutionalized democracy , considering that it is partially composed of members elected from among the civil servants.

 In the Internal Regulations of the CIF, in its article 2, the competence of the CIF is very clear:

Art. 2 The CIF is responsible for: (…)
IV – analyze and approve the functional progression/promotion processes of Fundacentro employees;
V – analyze and grant additional fees relating to the Remuneration for Qualification and the Qualification Bonus; (…)[III] (emphasis mine)

 It turns out that the management of Fundacentro, through the General Coordination of Corporate Management (CGGC), headed by public servant Vânia Gaebler, with the approval of the president of Fundacentro, began to usurp the competence of the CIF. A blow to what little democracy there is in the workplace. Usurpation of competence and coup in practice, by not granting progression to a civil servant who had his process analyzed and his functional progression deliberated by the CIF.

Vânia Gaebler, head of the CGGC, refers in dispatches to CIF decisions as mere “opinion”. In turn, the president's chief of staff, Victor Pellegrini Mammana, stated in a meeting on the topic, in the presence of eight employees from the Santa Catarina Unit and president Pedro Tourinho de Siqueira[IV], that “the CIF is a consultative body”.

One of the hallmarks of authoritarianism is disregarding one's own language. Disregard the meaning of words. It is the way of tearing up the laws while claiming to follow them, and of power prevailing in place of the rules (something that was a characteristic of the Bolsonaro-Guedes administration at Fundacentro[IN]). George Orwell characterized this phenomenon very well with the expression “newspeak” (newspeak) in the novel 1984. “Analyze and approve” and “analyze and grant” mean opine in the newspeak established by Pedro Tourinho de Siqueira, Victor Pellegrini Mammana and Vânia Gaebler.

Never in the history of Fundacentro, according to the knowledge of the institution's employees, has there been disrespect for the decisions of the Internal Committee by HR, by the CGGC (created in the previous government to expand the functions and powers of HR) or by the presidency. Nor was there any previous controversy regarding the powers and deliberative nature of the Internal Commission, which was always clear in its regulations. It is important to emphasize that not even in the previous government, under Jair Bolsonaro, was the Internal Commission disrespected in its decisions and competence. Not even during the Bolsonaro-Guedes government was there an attack on this Commission, which carries a modicum of democracy, with the aim of having a negative impact on civil servants' salaries. The direct and noticeable consequences of actions like this are: i) the demotivation and disengagement of employees, as they realize that the rules are not respected as well as their remuneration rights, leading them to seek retirement or go to another body; ii) constitutes a risk factor for the health of employees, generating stress as a consequence of this form of job insecurity, in which remuneration rights are at the mercy of monocratic decisions and in disregard of established standards and the competent committee.

But why would such an action of overriding the CIF's decision and undermining the institutionalized democracy at Fundacentro be a consequence of a policy of resentment?

Political-sociological definition of resentment

First, it is necessary to try to define resentment, from a political and sociological perspective. To this end, the distinction made by sociologist Robert Merton between rebellion and ressentiment remains pertinent. Merton points out that although “superficially similar” to rebellion, ressentiment is “essentially different.” It would have three elements: i) “diffuse feelings of hatred, envy and hostility”; ii) “a sense of impotence to express such feelings, actively, against the person or social stratum that evokes them”; iii) “the continuous awareness of this impotent hostility”. Also for Merton, the essential point that would distinguish rebellion from ressentiment would be that the latter would not involve a “genuine change of values” [YOU]. In resentment the person “condemns what they secretly desire”, while in rebellion the person “condemns their own ambition” [VII].

Zizek, when dealing with terrorist attacks by supposed Islamic fundamentalists, points out that what moves them is this condemnation of what they secretly desire:

What they evidently lack is an element that is easy to discern in all authentic fundamentalists, from Tibetan Buddhists to the Amish in the United States: the absence of resentment or envy, the profound indifference toward the way of life of nonbelievers. (…) In contrast to true fundamentalists, terrorist pseudo-fundamentalists feel deeply uncomfortable, intrigued and fascinated by the sinful lives of non-believers. It is clear that when they fight the sinful other, they are fighting their own temptation.[VIII].

And from a political point of view, agreeing with Zizek, what matters is not whether the complaint that conditions the action is founded or not, but rather “the political-ideological project that emerges as a reaction against injustices”. As the Slovenian philosopher recalls, Hitler managed to mobilize against the injustice of the Treaty of Versailles[IX]. The politics of resentment was such an inextricable part of the emergence of historical fascism that it is possible to say that “whenever resentment proliferates among workers, the risk of fascism is not far away.”[X]. We will return to this relationship between resentment and fascism later.

One of the bases for this resentment at Fundacentro arises from something that is not specific to it: the division of labor, the existence of different career positions and activities, and salary differences when the position requires different education. This division in the case of the federal S&T career is established by Law No. 8691/1993. The positions, which can be entered via public competition, are: S&T Analyst, Researcher, Technologist, S&T Assistant and Technician, with the first three requiring higher education and the last two secondary level.

Older employees say that there has always been a kind of jealousy or resentment among some employees in the administrative area towards the employees who work in the end area. The latter ended up having more visibility and recognition in society. Furthermore, the fact that civil servants who worked in the final area traveled quite frequently for work, generated a kind of resentment, to the point that some civil servants in the administrative area created the name Fundatur, as a criticism of the amount of travel. Fundacentro has units spread across the country to reach all regions. Travel is common and frequent as an institution for research and dissemination of knowledge. Giving courses in rural cities was quite common, and that was what was expected from Fundacentro. Imagine, for example, a Federal University in which some of the technical-administrative employees resented professors/researchers traveling frequently to panels, events, conferences, etc.! Well, this subculture of resentment has always been a latent factor of institutional dysfunction at Fundacentro, reproducing itself over time, to the point that even today the expression “Fundatur” can be heard being used even by those who entered the most recent competition, occupying position of power today. A use, moreover, out of context, since the number of server trips nowadays is incomparable to that of decades ago. In addition to Fundacentro's funding having decreased significantly, remote events that do not require travel have become quite common, among other factors that have greatly reduced travel. The fact that this name “Fundatur” is used by someone in a position of power in 2023 denotes the reproduction of a (sub)culture of resentment, which gained power over time. This culture, coincidentally or not, began to have more influence and power at Fundacentro around 2018, concomitant with the neo-fascist rise in Brazil.

The crusade that affects science & technology analysts

It was from this time on that employees in the role of Analyst in S&T began to be particularly targeted by this policy of resentment, reaching a new level in 2023. The possible duties of the position of Analyst, given by Law No. 8691/1993, encompass both strictly administrative activities regarding the coordination and evaluation of research projects. In 2018, some servers began a crusade to prevent Analysts from participating in research activities. The politics of resentment becomes clear when a group of employees tries to prevent others from doing the work they want, that motivates them and that would be even more compatible with their training and experience, under the argument that it would be a “misuse of function”. If in the class struggle the worker uses the argument of function desviation To prevent you from being put into an activity you don't want, the politics of resentment does the opposite: it evokes function desviation to prevent the worker from working on what he wants. In short, an anti-worker policy. Due to this “militancy” to prevent Analysts from participating in research, a Commission of civil servants was set up by the Fundacentro presidency in 2018 to discuss the topic “diversion of function”, but the Commission was not continued.

In the previous year, 2017, Vânia Gaebler, currently head of CGGC and who is an Assistant in S&T, was at the time working in the Human Resources Service. That year, she carried out a consultation with Sipec (a type of general HR department for the federal bodies of the then Ministry of Planning), in which the position of considering any research activity carried out by Analysts as a deviation from their role was recorded, including the coordination of research projects. research, which is explicit in Law No. 8691/1993 as one of the possible responsibilities of S&T Analysts[XIV]. It was also noted the discomfort with the inequality of salaries between positions requiring different education, which were supposed to carry out the same activities[XII].

In 2019, this crusade began to bear fruit, and S&T Analysts were prohibited from coordinating research projects by the management of Fundacentro, although in article 11 of Law No. 8691/1993 it is written among their duties: “carry out support activities for management, coordination, organization, planning, control and evaluation of research projects”. One of the results was to hasten the retirement request of Analysts, further weakening the institution that already had very few employees.

In 2023, as head of the CGGC, Vânia Gaebler obstructed the participation of an S&T Analyst in the XVIII Meeting of the Brazilian Association of Labor Studies and tried to prevent him from participating in the V International Activity Clinic Colloquium, arguing that the events had no to do with the role of Analyst. Something that becomes even more impressive if you consider that the Activity Clinic, developed by work psychologist Yves Clot with contributions from ergonomics, would be a suitable topic for people who hold administrative and management positions such as HR. This same Analyst was also prevented, because he was an Analyst, from presenting in person the research project in which he participated in Fundacentro's XII Research Week. A Fundacentro employee had never been prevented from traveling to present work due to his position. The obstruction of an Analyst's participation in an event that employees from other positions participated in was not an isolated case. The result is evidently demotivation and an incentive for Analysts to leave the institution.

Vânia Gaebler has a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering with a specialization in occupational safety engineering. Responding in an instant messaging group to a colleague who is also an S&T Assistant who wanted to move on to the researcher competition, she stated that when she joined Fundacentro she wanted to work on the accreditation of laboratories, as she had years of experience in this activity. Unfortunately, either because someone prevented her or for another reason, she ended up not working as she would have liked, applying her previously acquired skills. Faced with such a situation, the response could be: fight for employees to have greater freedom to work where they feel most suited and happy, or start condemning what they secretly aspire to do or what they openly aspire to do – in this case, carrying out activities in the core area of Fundacentro. Remembering what Zizek wrote about Islamic pseudo-fundamentalists: when they fight the sinful other, they fight what fascinates them, they fight their own temptation.

The crusade for the electronic point

In 2018, a movement by the Fundacentro presidency began to implement an electronic frequency control system, the result of a type of lobbying by a group of employees, mainly assigned to a certain sector of Fundacentro. The current head of CGGC (HR) at Fundacentro, Vânia Gaebler, since that time has always been openly, and I would even say ostensibly,[XIII], in favor of electronic point for all servers. Groups of employees wrote documents pointing out how harmful this form of control would be to the institution as a whole and to research activity.[XIV]. Due to the struggle of the servers who were against the electronic point, that management was unable to implement it.

But the next management of Fundacentro, in 2020, managed it. Initially, Researchers and Technologists would be exempt from frequency control, as determined by Decree No. 1590/95[XIV], the same thing that exempts federal higher education teachers from attendance control. However, Researchers and Technologists ended up being placed under attendance control. According to a source with a high commission position in that administration, the presidency ultimately decided not to exempt Researchers and Technologists from attendance control due to pressure from some employees in the administrative area who had “put their foot down”. Pressure from corridors, in the shadows, without publicly sustainable arguments. Thus, Fundacentro has been subjected to a policy of resentment, which leads to non-recognition of research activity, nor the needs of a research institution in terms of work organization. Imagine a group of university employees managing to determine that everyone is subject to electronic reporting. I don't think I need to go into length to show that it would be a policy that would destroy the purpose of the institution and the well-being of its employees. It is this destructive policy that has been strong at Fundacentro since at least 2018.

In 2023, Pedro Tourinho de Siqueira's management announced that it would remove Researchers and Technologists from frequency control, following Decree nº 1590/95. As expected, the reaction was not long in coming. Threats appeared if management followed what the Decree determines, or more correctly, they simulated legal threats to try to reverse the decision of Fundacentro's current management to exempt Researchers and Technologists from frequency control. Due to the alleged threat, this release of frequency control was delayed by a few months. And the Ordinance[XVI] published with this dispensation brings clear traces of the influence and strength of that relatively small group of civil servants engaged in a crusade for the electronic point: the reevaluation of the measure in 120 days and a series of unnecessary justifications since Decree nº 1590/95 does not require motivation for dismissal, but rather to not exempt these positions from attendance control.

Ultimately, it would not be surprising that Fundacentro's Internal Committee would be disrespected in its regulatory duties for the first time in the history of the institution if someone who had previously expressed discomfort with the Internal Committee's approval, more than supposedly should, requests for title progression and retribution; and that he felt unfair for supposedly working more than other employees, but earning less. And that, in addition, it always committed and openly demonstrated the implementation of electronic timekeeping for all employees, despite the consequences of this for the health of employees and the mission of the institution.

The policy of resentment at Fundacentro also involves a pseudo-moralistic discourse, sometimes bordering on messianism, by fighting through arbitrary power and bureaucratic means and manipulations, freedom of activity, the conditions for carrying out research activities and legal means of improvement in remuneration for most employees. Fighting in others what fascinates and desires.

Fascism: when resentment replaces class struggle

Historically, one of the characteristics of fascism was the mobilization of social resentments[XVII]. Where fascism achieved hegemony in the first decades of the 20th century, the social alternative provided by the struggles of the labor movement had disappeared, although reasons for dissatisfaction among workers remained. And with the abandonment of this hope of social transformation, “class hostility began to assume the degenerate form of ressentiment”[XVIII]. The young Mussolini himself, a member of the Italian Socialist Party, would be moved by resentment and not by class sentiment[XX].

If history exists to teach us that when resentment thrives among workers the risk of fascism is not far away, and that when resentment replaces class struggle fascism is already present, then it is necessary to call the politics of resentment exposed above by your name. Fascism. But to make the difference between a politics of resentment and class struggle more concrete and palpable, let's take a current example.

At UFSC, technical-administrative employees have been carrying out a successful fight for decades to prevent the electronic point from being implemented. Although they do not have the same support in legislation to be exempt from attendance control as teachers do, the mobilization and commitment of the union and the category also keeps them today without attendance control – without the public service being compromised, as indicated UFSC is the eighth best university in Brazil and the fourth best among federal universities according to the QS World University Rankings. The fact that teachers are exempt from attendance control by Decree No. 1590/95, and the spirit of greater freedom that runs through the history of the University institution, indirectly serve as ballast, as a point of support, for technical-administrative employees to fight for that they are included in this autonomy and freedom. This is a progressive, class struggle, as it aims to increase control over work – over time – and the autonomy of workers. In short, it aims to expand the horizon of freedom, expand the circle of autonomy and freedom for workers. This fight is also carried out by technical-administrative employees from other universities, such as Unicamp and USP.

Compare this with the commitment we described above from part of Fundacentro's employees, a minority but operative, in not only implementing the electronic point for all employees but also to prevent Researchers and Technologists from being exempt from attendance control as provided for by legislation. . This is a path and objectives that are opposite to those of the struggle of UFSC's technical-administrative employees. At Fundacentro, the activism of these employees, partly openly but mainly in the shadows, expresses a regressive policy in terms of autonomy and freedom for workers. They aim to reduce control over work and time even for employees who have explicit legislation that would guarantee exemption from attendance control. This is not a class struggle, but a politics of resentment, which starts from workers against the working class. A policy that mortifies the very spirit of openness, autonomy and freedom that tends to be more present in research institutions in our society. In short, the difference is between a progressive policy, which expands the autonomy, freedom and power of workers, resulting from a struggle of the working class, as exemplified by the struggle of the technical-administrative staff at UFSC, and a regressive, analytically fascist policy, against the autonomy and freedom of workers.

The symbiosis between managers and fascism in the workplace

The tactical pact or symbiosis between managers of external origin and the architects of the policy of resentment within Fundacentro is evidently due to the benefit that both sides can derive from this relationship. While the architects of internal fascism – elevated to positions of more power and trust by managers – guarantee the prompt administrative progress of the priorities and interests of the presidency, they take advantage of their position of power to advance the implementation of the policy of resentment. In turn, external managers turn a blind eye, agree and incorporate at least a good part of this policy of resentment, since their demands are met promptly and quickly by the architects of this policy. This symbiosis results in the Internal Commission being emptied of the meaning of existence and the little internal democracy established at Fundacentro being rifted, with harmful consequences for the employees.

Perhaps the importance of this symbiosis will become clearer to the reader by adding the context of informal application of the infamous administrative reform at Fundacentro. Developed during the Bolsonaro-Guedes government and now embraced as a priority by Chamber President Arthur Lira, the so-called administrative reform tends to end the stability of public servants and the existence of public bodies as State bodies. In its spirit, the reform seeks a return to a patrimonial State, in which public bodies become a kind of empty bag in which each government and politician of the time fills with their favorites, patrons, outsources to companies, etc. It is no surprise that Arthur Lira made this reform a priority. During the previous government, Fundacentro began to be seen by managers, to a large extent, as a brand to be used (a symbolic capital). And for this use it was also necessary to bring in trusted people to produce what the managers wanted, with the Fundacentro logo, with the weight of its symbolic capital. So the managers at the time brought a doctor, as a volunteer worker, to give opinions politically aligned with them, and with the Fundacentro logo. This was a clear misuse of the legal status of voluntary work[XX]. They also brought a doctor to Fundacentro to carry out research with the obvious purpose of withdrawing benefits from workers.

Unfortunately, there appears to have been no change in outlook towards Fundacentro with the change of government. Perhaps more than before, Fundacentro has been seen as the bearer of a brand to be used. For this purpose, people from outside are also brought in, aligned with the current managers.[XXI]. The purposes may be different from those of the past government, but the application of the spirit of administrative reform, created by the past government, is the same. This is what is shown, for example and so as not to expand on this point too much, the fact that a few days after the signing of a Technical Cooperation Agreement with UFBA in 2023[XXII], a research report carried out previously and entirely by UFBA researchers was also published with the Fundacentro logo (and with the name of the president of Fundacentro on the second page next to that of the Rector of UFBA and the researchers)[XXIII].

If professors from federal universities who came to Fundacentro under the current administration are enchanted by the promptness and speed with which two demands flow through the bureaucracy at Fundacentro, unlike what they experienced at a federal university, it is because they did not realize that there are two Fundacentros. One that works for managers and the people they bring in, with an efficiency apparently greater than the average in federal agencies; and another that works differently, and in which Fundacentro employees are generally subjected to the policy of resentment. The counterpart to the enchanting efficiency for those who came to Fundacentro through the application of the spirit of administrative reform is, for example, the restriction of activities and forms of job insecurity for S&T Analysts, with one of them feeling “with a knife in his back ”. Both Fundacentros are expressions of the symbiosis or tacit pact between managers and fascism at Fundacentro.

For managers, being on the side of fascism or giving it space or not is a matter of political convenience.

Three days after the coup attempt on January 8, 2023, I exposed the idea to a friend from a left-wing PT group that we should try to create Committees for the Defense of Democracy in the workplace. My naivety? Probably in part. My hypothesis was that in the federal public service the difference with the change of government in 2023 would be such that civil servants would become mobilized to fight against a rupture that would lead to the situation experienced previously. The naive part was expecting something different from party bureaucracies, managers, and current politicians than putting their short-term interests as a priority, following the business as usual. For party bureaucracies, “democracy” seems to designate the possibility of holding government positions. For workers, democracy begins with their power in the workplace. For the opportunists among the workers, it is just a word that is shouted according to convenience, and not a value or principle.

The January 8th coup attempt continues in the workplace. It is necessary to defend democracy against the mobilization of resentments and against the managers of yesterday and today. It is up to them to defend the palaces they occupy. As for us, we are busy defending what little democracy, undermined by them, that may exist in the workplace.

Epilogue: the normalization of the instruments and expressions of organizational harassment

From 2019 onwards, a situation of institutional harassment of an organizational nature emerged, which I wrote about in 2022[XXIV] and about which there is a Public Civil Action by the MPT in progress in court. Regarding the institutional and organizational harassment established in the previous government, I highlight two points that I mentioned in 2022: i) the symbiosis between the objectives of managers and a latent resentment among some of the employees, which, according to reports from older employees, has existed for decades[XXV]; and ii) the mechanisms and instruments of organizational harassment become normalized and become part of the institutional culture; Once the barrier that prevented, for example, the abuse of power and management through lies is broken, they begin to become a repertoire to be used by managers who come[XXVI]. This second point tends to occur unless we try to clean up the period, punish abuses and frontally attack this culture that is being formed. But that was not what happened with the change of government and the arrival of Pedro Tourinho de Siqueira as president of Fundacentro in April 2023.

Between Reconstruction, the government's own motto, and the normalization of the situation of organizational harassment, the facts and actions indicate that in the current administration of Pedro Tourinho de Siqueira, normalization has prevailed. Although there is ambiguity in terms of actions for change or continuity in relation to the organization established in the previous government, the lack of coherence that this ambiguity of actions exposes points to the absence of a project and political will for “reconstruction”. Let it be a goal for each side in a match that is lost, the situation remains the same and the result is certain. In a situation where rules and regulations constitute organizational harassment, ambiguity implies the maintenance of this situation. Below are some examples of this normalization, passive and active, of a harassing work organization at Fundacentro:

a – The Ordinance that regulates teleworking at Fundacentro has maintained the possibility of deduction from the server's payroll, if the manager evaluates the work delivered by the server with a score lower than 5. There is no legal provision, in law or federal normative instruction, that allows payroll deduction in these cases. This is blatant illegality, an abuse established in 2022 at Fundacentro. There is no knowledge of another federal body that has an Ordinance that regulates teleworking with the possibility of payroll deductions based on a grade given by management. An illegality that has potential implications for the health of employees. Colleagues report stress due to this possibility of a discount. It is worth noting that teleworking at Fundacentro, on the one hand, is the way that many employees found to have working conditions, since the workplaces at Fundacentro do not have adequate working conditions since the last government. As we can see, there is a normalization of an illegal and abusive internal rule that generates stress. It would be enough to remove one line from the aforementioned Ordinance, making it legal, which shows the indifference of the current presidency of Fundacentro in relation to the well-being of workers. It is a bad example for employers (or a good example, however you want);

b – All employees of the Decentralized Units, that is, around half of Fundacentro's employees, have been kept subordinate to HR. Yes, the boss, including the core employees, is the head of HR. This sector was inflated in its powers and responsibilities in the last government, with HR becoming in fact the most powerful department at Fundacentro, under the name of General Coordination of Corporate Management (CGGC).

c – And if this subordination to the head of HR (CGGC) already demonstrates the level of dysfunctionality and organizational harassment at Fundacentro – normalized after a year of the new government –, add the fact that the Decentralized Units are formally maintained as a Support Sector for Management[XXVII]. Epithet that remains even on the Fundacentro website[XXVIII]. That is, organizational harassment remains public, which demonstrates the presidency's indifference to symbolic violence;

d – In the midst of this dysfunctionality of a work organization that is an expression and instrument of established harassment, employees in the end area of ​​the Decentralized Units do not know who their evaluators are, for the purposes of functional evaluations (necessary for functional progression, for example) . When questioned in August 2023, the current management of Fundacentro did not answer who would be the evaluator of these employees. Something that should be the right of employees, to know who is evaluating them during the year, is also seen with indifference by the current management of Fundacentro;

and – The very maintenance of the CGGC expresses a normalization and continuity of the situation of organizational harassment. The fact of having the role of HR, with access to private data of all employees, and at the same time having a management status extremely close to the presidency, should be reason enough to promptly undo such organizational excrescence. In February 2023, a period in which Fundacentro was without a president, dozens of employees signed a letter to the Minister of Labor, Luiz Marinho. In it, amid another topic, they wrote: “CGGC was created in the previous government and has been playing an overwhelming role in the management of our institution, imposing practices of institutional harassment”, and requested that “CGGC be extinguished in a context of change regulations and restructuring of the institution”[XXIX];

f – If the examples above were passive maintenance and normalization of elements and expressions of organizational harassment, this one below is active maintenance and normalization. In 2022, the then CGGC managers tried to impose the obligation of a monthly activity report to approve the attendance of those who were under electronic attendance control[XXX]. An unspeakable abuse, since it mixed productivity with assiduity. Faced with the questioning of such flagrant illegality, they backed down and formalized through an Ordinance[XXXI] the requirement of a monthly activity report for those who were in the attendance control system. Although the recognition of attendance was not conditional on the delivery of this report, it was an abusive measure since this report had no function of functional or institutional assessment: it was a pure instrument of embarrassment and exercise of power. President Pedro Tourinho de Siqueira revoked this Ordinance in 2023 to replace it with one that maintains this report, but leaves its periodicity open[XXXII]; a report that is a by-product of probably the previous government's most outrageously abusive action at Fundacentro. Pedro Tourinho de Siqueira put his signature on an instrument and expression of organizational harassment that was established at Fundacentro, actively normalizing it. Fundacentro, under the management of the Workers' Party, actively (re)instituted in 2023 an indefensible standard and requirement in any debate on worker health and work management.

As this last example of active normalization of instruments and expressions of organizational harassment shows, it is not a matter of not having had enough time to make changes. And the contrast with the actions carried out in 2023, for what the presidency had the political will to carry out, leaves no doubt: National Free Conference on Occupational Health in May 2023, Free National Conference on Mental Health at Work in September 2023, Research Week in December 2023 (organized on a whim), in addition to numerous Technical Cooperation Agreements with Federal Universities to execute a presidential project. Workers' health is thus transformed into a spectacle, into a word written on the forehead for a progressive audience. Someone in a management position who is genuinely concerned about the health of workers should obviously start with concrete actions in relation to the workers where he is the manager and has power.

*Leo Vinicius Liberato He has a doctorate in political sociology from UFSC and a technologist at Fundacentro.

Notes


[I] FARIA, G.; JARDIM, F. “Disappointment and frustration at Fundação Casa de Rui Barbosa”. the earth is round, 21 Jan. 2023. Available at: https://aterraeredonda.com.br/decepcao-e-frustracao-na-fundacao-casa-de-rui-barbosa/

[II] See: LIBERATO, LVM Technical Note 26 – Institutional Harassment at Fundacentro. Afipea. 2022. Available at: https://afipeasindical.org.br/noticias/nota tecnica 26 institutional harassment at fundacentro/; and VINICIUS, L. Organizational Harassment in the Public Service: The case of Fundacentro. Passa Palavra, 13 Jan. 2023. Available at: https://passapalavra.info/2023/01/147107/

[III] The Ordinance with the Regulations of the Fundacentro Internal Committee can be seen here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/13eujiAq6DlZhIax51CS73jxEVIX4Kl_R/view?usp=sharing >.

[IV] Letter from employees explaining the situation and requesting a meeting with the Fundacentro Presidency: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1BUn3UHhf0jg7vLwB9OmHGsvxh5zodtwc/view?usp=sharing >.

[IN] See: LIBERATO, LVM Technical Note 26 – Institutional Harassment at Fundacentro. Afipea. 2022. Available at:

[YOU] MERTON, Robert K. Sociology: theory and structure. São Paulo: Mestre Jou, 1968, p. 229.

[VII] ditto, p. 230.

[VIII] ZIZEK, Slavoj. Liberalism fails to protect its values. Folha de São Paulo, 18 Jan. 2015. Available at:https://m.folha.uol.com.br/ilustrissima/2015/01/1575750-liberalismo-falha-em-proteger-seus-valores-comenta-zizek.shtml>

[IX] Idem.

[X] Bernardo, João. Between class struggle and resentment. Regarding the article «Cadilhe, the “rich gravedigger”». Passa Palavra, 26 Mar. 2009. Available at:https://passapalavra.info/2009/03/2063/ >.

[XIV] See item 6, p.2, of the document: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1bKXOTUPNqU3mjCq3gu-xcCveYcJ7SP8Y/view?usp=sharing >.

[XII] Idem, item 7, p.3.

[XIII] In 2020, Fundacentro Researchers and Technologists organized themselves and wrote a document with around five demands, referring to organizational issues. One of the demands was the exemption of Researchers and Technologists from frequency control, as determined by Decree nº 1590/95, since this control was in the process of being implemented by that Fundacentro management. Vânia Gaebler's reaction in a Whastapp group was emphatic against this initiative to ask that the Decree be complied with and that Researchers and Technologists be exempt from attendance control.

[XIV] See, for example, the documents prepared by these groups of servers: https://drive.google.com/file/d/135JMvsDDPRm9bZhtZotRzglTrXc6EbI-/view?usp=sharing>; It is https://drive.google.com/file/d/18zTC7kXy2z_7pGF-nT5EX3JJMGAxkncx/view?usp=sharing>.

[XIV] According to Decree No. 1590/95, the agency's manager can only set frequency control for Researchers and Technologists, motivating them based on the characteristics of the agency's activity. This addendum was most likely included in the Decree because not all S&T Career bodies are research bodies. stricto sensu, such as the Ministry of Science and Technology itself and CNPq, for example.

[XVI] Fundacentro Ordinance 1179/23: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1nrS3a0kvEHwr1WlHsPMJTv4tnVzNQtXN/view?usp=sharing >.

[XVII] BERNARDO, João. Labyrinths of Fascism. 3rd ed. 2018, p. 18-9. See especially note 19 on page 19, in which there is a reference to the use of social resentment by the National Socialists.

[XVIII] Idem, P. 26.

[XX] See: SELDES, George (1935) Sawdust Caesar. The Untold History of Mussolini and Fascism. New York and London: Harper & Brothers, 1935, mentioned in BERNARDO, João. Labyrinths of Fascism. 3rd ed. 2018, p. 19.

[XX] See: LIBERATO, LVM Technical Note 26 – Institutional Harassment at Fundacentro. Afipea. 2022. Available at:

[XXI] Bringing people from outside the institution to work there (technicians, researchers, etc.) in itself can be positive. But the context and form indicate that this is already an advance in the spirit of administrative reform. This is not a selection process or an initiative for a server to be assigned or transferred to Fundacentro.

[XXII] To see:https://www.gov.br/fundacentro/pt-br/comunicacao/noticias/noticias/2023/agosto/fundacentro-e-ufba-celebram-acordo-para-mapear-adoecimento-ocupacional/act_ufba_fundacentro.pdf>.

[XXIII] To see:https://www.gov.br/fundacentro/pt-br/comunicacao/noticias/noticias/2023/agosto/fundacentro-e-ufba-celebram-acordo-para-mapear-adoecimento-ocupacional/relatorio-caminhos-do-trabalho-2023-entregadores-e-motoristas-final.pdf>.

[XXIV] See: LIBERATO, LVM Technical Note 26 – Institutional Harassment at Fundacentro. Afipea. 2022. Available at: ; and VINICIUS, L. Organizational Harassment in the Public Service: The case of Fundacentro. Passa Palavra, 26 Jan. 13. Available at:

[XXV] VINICIUS, L. Organizational Harassment in the Public Service: The case of Fundacentro. Passa Palavra, 13 Jan. 2023. Available at:

[XXVI] VINICIUS, L. Notes for server flexibility without PGD uberization. Passa Palavra, 22 September. 2022. Available at: .

[XXVII] In 2022, symbolically reproducing the violent process of physical relocation of the Decentralized Units (DUs), all employees of the Fundacentro UDs were placed on the institution's organizational chart as a Management Support Sector. Once again, Fundacentro management made a point of expressing that the DUs' employees were inconvenient and despicable: the first time through physical relocation and the way it was carried out, the second time through a relocation in the organizational chart to an unreasonable place. And the servers of the DUs were publicly exposed, since on the Fundacentro website each Decentralized Unit appears as a Management Support Sector.

[XXVIII] View: https://www.gov.br/fundacentro/pt-br/composicao-1/unidades-descentralizadas/centro-regional-sul-santa-catarina-1/centro-regional-sul-santa-catarina. Accessed on 2 Feb. 2024

[XXIX] The Charter can be accessed here: .

[XXX] Ver: <https://drive.google.com/file/d/1nhU1ZXdxG2z0goF85kCzOCGtzbiex9_V/view?usp=sharin >.

[XXXI] See Fundacentro Ordinance 910/22: https://drive.google.com/file/d/12lkqbgCxecMCGRQzuXXu5BZzAl8mGObj/view?usp=sharing

[XXXII] See Fundacentro Ordinance 1134/23: .


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