On Tuesday, July 11, Brazil's Senate will vote on President Michel Temer's labor reform bill, which has already been passed by the lower house. The bill, aimed at helping to bring the economy out of a recession, would create more temporary contract positions and use more outsourcing. According to trade unions, the bill will decrease the power of unions by eliminating mandatory union dues. Analysts and officials expect the bill to pass by a simple majority. Demonstrations in opposition to the bill are likely in major cities across the country.
Labor reforms have been at the forefront of President Temer's agenda. However, the passage of the bill fell behind schedule due to Temer's ongoing corruption scandal. Temer was officially charged with corruption by the Prosecutor General on Monday, June 26. A recorded conversation of President Temer purportedly showing him discussing the payment of hush money to a jailed politician led to the opening of a formal probe by the Supreme Court on May 19. The scandal has sparked various protests and prompted eight impeachment filings. Temer has reiterated that he will not step down.
There has also been a series of protests by labor unions in response to the reforms. Multiple trade unions, along with the Popular Brazil Front and People Without Fear civil society organizations, organized a 24-hour nationwide general strike in São Paulo and other major cities on April 28. According to union representatives, an estimated 40 million people participated in the protests.
Individuals in Brazil are advised to avoid any demonstrations that may follow the Senate vote due to the risk of violence. Monitor developments to the situation and anticipate transportation disruptions around areas where protests occur.