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  • Senator Eunicio Oliveira (L), President of the Federal Senate, Brazil

    Senator Eunicio Oliveira (L), President of the Federal Senate, Brazil's President Michel Temer (C) and President of the Chamber of Deputies Rodrigo Maia. | Photo: Reuters

“I'm not anxious to have a vote today (...) I will follow regulations and respect the opposition,” Eunicio Oliveira, president of the Senate.

Brazil's Senate is set to analyze an urgent request to vote on the controversial labor reform put forward by Michel Temer . If approved, the reform bill, known as PLC 38/2017, will be scheduled for a vote after two regular Senate sessions.

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Brazil: Temer's Neoliberal Labor and Pension Reforms Explained

Carta Capital reports that Eunicio Oliveira, president of the Senate, intends to have the vote on labor reform by July 18. “I'm not anxious to have a vote today, on Monday or Tuesday. I will follow regulations and respect the opposition,” he said.

Labor reforms proposed by Brazilian President Michel Temer include the elimination of payment for workers' commute from their contracts, a reduction in employer compensation for abuse and allowing employers to reduce workers' salaries while increasing their work hours.

Social Security reform continues to circulate in Brazil's Congress despite its unpopularity. It would scrap the average retirement age of 54, making it mandatory that women retire at 62 and men at 65.

Temer has made labor and pension reforms flagship proposals of his government. However, embroiled in a series of corruption scandals, his administration has faced stiff, widespread resistance. A recent DataFolha poll shows that just 7 percent of those questioned approved of Temer's administration, while 71 percent of Brazilians reject the labor proposal.

Also, last Friday, a second general strike brought Brazil to a virtual standstill this year.

Meanwhile, Romero Juca, a senator and key government ally, commented that he believes that labor reform will receive enough votes. “We're modernizing legislation. We're not taking away a single right. Those who claim that they're losing rights are lying,” he said. Juca stressed that government wants to move forward alongside businessmen, workers, and government to have a “realistic legislation in order to guarantee future employability.”

Also, on Tuesday, the Worker's Party revealed that Temer's administration, in a vain attempt to garner public support for pension reform, spent some US$18 million dollars on publicity. The information was obtained through Brazil's Information Access Law.

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