Brazilians to protest government cutbacks

Brazilians to protest government cutbacks

A federation of Brazilian labour unions has announced that it will shut down a number of the country’s largest cities

Photo: Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters

Photo: Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters

A federation of Brazilian labour unions has announced that it will shut down a number of the country’s largest cities today to protest the austerity measures proposed by President Michel Temer.

Succeeding Dilma Rousseff, who was impeached in 2016, Mr Temer has initiated numerous pro-free market measures to jumpstart the contracting Brazilian economy. Much to the chagrin of groups like the Central Workers Union, the president has proposed raising the minimum age of retirement and pension collection to 65, raising social security contributions by civil servants, and cutting pastoral labour rights.

But Temer’s reform agenda is threatened by an emerging corruption scandal. An incriminating tape recording was released of him authorising a payment to the jailed Eduardo Cunha, former president of the Chamber of Deputies, in order to buy Cunha’s silence on matters concerning the 2016 Petrobras fiasco that led to the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff.

As such, millions of protesters across Brazil are demanding the president’s resignation and the abandonment of his austerity reforms.