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  • Demonstrators protest against President Michel Temer after the parade celebrating the country

    Demonstrators protest against President Michel Temer after the parade celebrating the country's Independence Day in Brasilia, Brazil, September 7, 2017 | Photo: Reuters

Signatures are being collected in an effort to overturn the controversial changes.

On the 195th anniversary of Brazil's independence, thousands of workers have been signing their names to a petition, rejecting the labor laws proposed by President Michel Temer.

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With an end goal of 1,300,000, the Unified Workers Central, CUT, has started collecting signatures to invalidate the changes.

The new legislation, due to come into force by November 11, will introduce over 100 points of the Consolidation of Labor Laws, CLT, lowering the cost of labor for both salary and non-salary paid employment as well as increasing the flexibility of contracts between employers and staff.

Social movements in Brazil have also been marching, because independence day is a traditional platform for their causes, known as “El Grito de los Excluidos” or “The Cry of the Excluded.”

Religious, social, and trade unions joined together across the country in an effort to “show the reality of those excluded” from society and denounce political agendas.

This year’s theme was centered around democracy, law, and struggle. Organizers state that the CUT’s efforts to annul the labor reforms reflect their aims.

Members of the organization say they hope to pressure the Chamber of Deputies to review and invalidate the legislation imposed by Temer.

CUT president Vagner Freitas inisted it was imperative to counter the new legislation, “against this true robbery of workers' rights promoted by the illegitimate scammer Temer.”

“Our struggle,” Freitas said, “Is to make it clear that the changes in labor law provoked by Temer 'are only good for the bad bosses who financed the coup' against the constitutional president Dilma Rousseff, because for the worker that proposal is a disaster.”

Following the petition, CUT say their next step will be to vote to overrule the legislation, explaining during a news conference that 11 other laws had been repealed through the similar efforts by their organization.

According to the constitution, provided that citizens from at least five states are represented, the bill can be sent to the lower house to be reviewed and possibly overturned.

Workers have been campaigning against the draft bill since it was approved on July 11.

They say the new reforms violate their rights and have been holding protests, organized by the Popular Front of Brazil (FBP) and the Worker’s Party as well as several other unions and social movements.


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