The headquarters of Brazil's trade unions have issued a call for a new general strike to shut down Brazil's largest cities on June 30, to protest neoliberal labor and retirement pension reforms, as well as demand the resignation of unelected president Michel Temer who is currently embroiled in corruption controversies.
“If the National Congress resolves to vote on the reforms, we will move forward with the mobilizations. We will not allow them to vote against the will of the Brazilian people,” the secretary of the Central Worker's Union (CUT) Sergio Nobre said.
In addition to the CUT, the General Confederation of Workers of Brazil, the Central of the Brazilian Trade Unions, the Trade Union and Popular Confederation, the Central of the Workers and Workers of Brazil, the Força Sindical, the Central Intersindical of the Working Class , The New Central Union of Central Public Employees of the Server, and the General Union of Workers have also announced participation in the strike.
The austerity measures proposed by Temer would raise the minimum age to retire and collect pension to 65 years. While international organizations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have supported Temer's neoliberal policies as being conducive to economic growth, the policies have been widely protested and condemned as harmful to the interests of the poor and working classes.
The proposal also comes in the midst of a massive wave of layoffs. Unemployment has reached a record high of 13.6%, or 14 million Brazilians without jobs.
In late April, over 35 million Brazilians participated in a general strike called by CUT to protest the economic austerity of Temer.
In the midst of the growing discontent directed at neoliberal policy proposals, new waves of protests against the unelected leader, who only took power after what some call a parliamentary coup to remove former President Dilma Rousseff, began after recorded evidence showed Temer approving bribes.
In one of the audio tapes, the Temer can be heard giving authorization to former JBS executive Joesley Batista to pay US$637,000 to purchase the silence of Eduardo Cunha, the former president of the Chamber of Deputies regarding a corruption scandal.