Brazil labor overhaul respects workers’ rights, says ILO

The organization says Brazil complies with international standards

Published on 07/06/2018 - 23:01 By Renata Giraldi - Brasília

A commission of the Geneva-based International Labor Organization (ILO) concluded today (Jun. 7) that the Brazilian labor reform is compatible with the Convention No. 98, which deals with the right to collective bargaining. The conclusion removes Brazil from the list of countries suspected of violating labor rights.

In a statement directed at the Brazilian government, the commission reports that the “labor reform complies with the definitions of the Convention No. 98,” makes suggestions, and requests information.

In the document, ILO proposes an in-depth look into the enforcement of the principles of “free and voluntary collective bargaining,” and also asks for information on “three-party consultations with social interlocutors regarding the labor reform.”

Brasília - Operários do Departamento de Estradas de Rodagem do DF fazem reparos em trecho da via EPGU onde foi detectado risco de desabamento. ( Marcelo Camargo/Agência Brasil)
The ILO's commission reports that the “labor reform complies with the definitions of the Convention No. 98” - Marcelo Camargo/Agência Brasil

The deadline for a reply is less than four months. The Brazilian government will have to create a commission to draw up a report and submit it to ILO by November.


On May 29, ILO included Brazil on a list with 24 cases seen as severe of suspected labor rights violations for doubts regarding the labor overhaul, especially the item on collective bargaining.

The criticism focused on ILO’s Convention No. 98, of 1949, which outlines fee and unrestrained bargaining. Brazil ratified this convention in 1952. These guidelines can also be found in Brazilian labor legislation in effect since November, 2017.

The case was brought to the limelight after Brazil’s Unified Workers’ Center (CUT) filed a motion with ILO questioning the item on bargaining in the overhaul. CUT argues that the labor reform threatened collective deals and posed a risk to the rights of workers.

In November last year, ILO’s Committee of Experts, made up of 20 analysts from around the globe, considered the document filed by CUT and requested clarifications from Brazil, after which the country’s Labor Ministry provided the necessary information.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Sabrina Craide / Augusto Queiroz

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