Brazil: Outsourced workers fight with students against unfair sackings and the right for health absences

"We support all the cleaning workers who have been sacked"
Submitted by Baderneiro Miseravel on August 28, 2018

Workers who clean the Federal Universitry of Goiás (UFG) under the contractor Liderança claim that the contractor has been harassing the cleaning workers of the institution. They claim the company has been “warning” the employees that taking absence for health reasons has been the cause of sackings recently. Some workers claim the company has an “agreement” that “only one leave for health reasons is allowed per year of work”. The claims seem to be true. According to the workers, only in August at least 8 workers were sacked for that reason. The workers fired have no complaints about their performance in work and are considered important for the proper functioning of the buildings they clean.

This is the case in school CEPAE, a UFG department where direct workers, teachers, students and parents are mobilizing to keep a respected and well liked worker in the place. The workers and teachers are making a petitition for that objective and in 08/21 around fifty students made a protest in solidarity to the worker (a video of the protest can be seen here).
The Invisibles denounced recently that the cleaning workers are not having acess to proper equipment for work and are having to bring cleaning materials from their own homes. From 2013 to 2017, there was a reduction of more than half of the employees, increasing the area they are responsible for cleaning. The average area of cleaning for employee in 2013 was 875 square meters. From 2017 on, it was at least 1825 square meters per worker. In this scenario, it is very cruel that the workers who need to take an abscence to care for their health or the health of their loved ones are punished systematically.

UFG needs to guarantee the good work and a respectful treatment to the employees under contract for the institution. The sackings need to be revised immediately and the workers in this situation who so desire need to be offered the option to remain in the job. The company also has to stop the policy of restricting and “warning” those who take absences. The right to take care of your health needs to be guaranteed for all workers, no matter if outsourced or direct employee.

An attack on one is an attack on all! Solidarity between the workers and students in the place and from other places is paramount in this moment. Together we can win this dispute.