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The Brazilian Congress approved a highly controversial bill that allows companies to outsource any job. The move sparked fury from unions, who oppose virtually any kind of change in Brazil’s outdated labor legislation. To become a law, the bill must now be signed by President Michel Temer.

Brazil’s current outsourcing norms forbid the practice for jobs that are the “core” of a business. That means that a journalism company can’t – at least in theory – outsource its journalists. Now, everything will be legal. The bill also raises the maximum duration of temporary contracts to nine months, instead of the current three.

Defenders of the bill state that Brazil’s labor legal framework, which dates back to the 1950s, imposes a heavy burden on companies in the form of labor taxes and obligations. A worker can cost an employer up to two times his salary.

The legislation comes from a time when most workers were in factories. Indeed, the labor legislation doesn’t account for the internet era, and new kinds of labor.

However, opponents warn that the new norm will cause jobs to become precarious, and will increase the ranks of the 12 million people without work in Brazil. With time, workers – especially those that are lower income – will see fewer and fewer benefits, like pensions, and will also find themselves with less job security.


The content of the bill was by no means the only point of controversy. House Speaker Rodrigo Maia pulled a questionable maneuver to pass the legislation. We’ll explain.

In 2015, the House voted on a similar outsourcing project, which then stalled in the Senate. Former Senate President Renan Calheiros opposed the bill, and never put it to a vote. Maia then dug up a 1998 outsourcing bill, which had already been analyzed by the Senate. Just like that, he pushed for a vote and received a 231-188 win.

This 1998 project, however, is far less favorable to workers than the one from 2015, which could be voted on by the Senate within the next few days. With both bills approved by Congress, President Michel Temer will be able to veto some aspects of each piece of legislation, crafting it to his wishes.

Congressmen opposed to the law held rubber ducks during the voting process. It was a reference to the popular expression “pagar o pato,” which literally translates as “to pay for the duck.” It means to unfairly take the fault for something or someone.

Article source: http://plus55.com/brazil-politics/2017/03/brazilian-congress-outsourcing-bill

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