The Forum of Union Centrals of RS was on this Thursday morning (5) in front of the Piratini Palace and the State Legislative Assembly to carry out a symbolic act that demanded the replacement of 10.3% in the regional minimum wage for 2021.
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The regional minimum wage floor has been frozen for two and a half years, since February 1, 2019, harming about 1.5 million people in Rio Grande do Sul. The 10.3% replacement requirement corresponds to inflation for the period 2019 to 2020, measured by the variation of the National Consumer Price Index (INPC).
After the symbolic act, the leaders of the centrals were received in audience by the president of the Legislative Assembly, deputy Gabriel Souza (MDB), to deal with the matter. Governor Eduardo Leite’s (PSDB) project, sent on July 15 to state deputies, provides for a readjustment of only 2.73%. With that, the five salary ranges would be between R$1,270.93 and R$1,610.61.
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The union centrals delivered a Manifesto in Defense of the Valorization of the Regional Minimum Wage to the deputy, in which they request that the values proposed in the Bill 237/2021 be revised, determining the readjustment this year so that it contemplates what was not granted in 2020 ( 4.5%) plus 5.53% (INPC base date of Feb/2021), as a replacement for the inflation of the last two years considering, above all, the significant increase in food prices in the last two years, period in that the basic food basket accumulated an increase of 34.7%.
Gabriel Souza heard the union leaders and pointed out that the Legislative’s role is to mediate the interests of society. “I recognize that there is a loss of purchasing power on the part of workers if there is no replacement”, said the deputy, highlighting the increases in gasoline, whose liter costs more than R$ 6, and in cooking gas, which has already exceeded R$ 100. He pledged to assist in the search for dialogue between the parties.
Public Hearing at the Economy Committee
The Assembly’s Economy Committee, chaired by deputy Zé Nunes (PT), promotes next Wednesday (11), at 9 am, a virtual public hearing to discuss the readjustment of the regional minimum and expand the debate with parliamentarians and society. Deputy Gabriel Souza was invited by the centrals to participate.
“It will be a good opportunity to show the importance of the regional floor, which has never been a factor of unemployment, but of income distribution, valorization of work and growth of the state’s economy”, emphasized Antônio Güntzel, Secretary of Administration and Finance at CUT-RS.
Risk of extinction of the regional floor
The regional minimum was created in 2001, during the Olívio Dutra (PT) government, through state law No. 11,677. At the time, the value set was 28% above the national minimum wage, taking into account the strength of the state’s economy. There are also regional floors in Santa Catarina, Paraná, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
“With two and a half years of freezing, this important public policy is at risk of being extinguished by the interests of backward businessmen. The governor, deputies and deputies cannot be colluding with this process of destruction of the regional floor,” said Antonio.
According to Dieese’s analysis, in Santa Catarina and Paraná there was a readjustment of the respective regional minimums in 2020 and 2021, resulting in a readjustment of 10.62% and 12.29%, respectively.
Dieese also demonstrates that these two states registered smaller variations in the unemployment rate (Paraná +0.4 percentage point.) or even a drop in the unemployment rate (Santa Catarina -1.0 percentage point) between the 1st quarter of 2019 and the 1st quarter of 2021 compared to Rio Grande do Sul (+1.2% percentage point).
The Forum of Union Centrals of RS is composed of CTB, CUT, CGTB, INTERSINDICAL, NCST, FS, CSB, UGT, CSP/CONLUTAS, CENTRAL PÚBLICA and FORUM.
Source: BdF Rio Grande do Sul
Edition: Katia Marko