This article is a short description of what’s going on in Brazil. While I was writing these lines we exceeded 11,000 deaths in Brazil, and I hope that quarantine will soon be imposed, and that those who have to provide for themselves will be financially supported during the lockdown through help from the federal government. For now, unfortunately, that is not what is happening.
Seeing their working conditions worsening and not receiving PPE from the companies, workers started to organise and to protest.
If, on the one hand, the isolation and loneliness of work within an ICU means the extreme degradation of the worker’s subjectivity, it may also be what drives them to dialogue and to get closer to others.
Here, the state and municipality’s health departments are in conflict: the first one believes we should be more careful, and announced an order of PPE, and the second one is denying the existence of the problem.
Self-employed and informal workers constitute up to 40% of the Brazilian workforce. For them, the reduction of economic activity and movement in cities results in longer working hours (and greater exposure to the virus) to try to earn enough money.
Everyone knows that our work is essential at this moment, but no one wants to know whether we get sick. If there are no cashiers, no stockers, if the supermarket is not cleaned, how can people continue buying food during the pandemic?
On March 21, workers in a BH store in Lagoa da Prata refused to work until the number of people inside the market was reduced.
Around 50 couriers – keeping the safe distance of 1.5 meters between them – gathered and drove around in protest to demand masks, gloves, rubbing alcohol, and safe working conditions from the City Hall and delivery companies.
Despite all medical and sanitary guidelines to avoid social gatherings, and government decrees to close non-essential services during the Covid-19’s pandemic, telemarketing companies continue to operate normally throughout Brazil.
We have implemented several changes in our work routines to increase our safety without the consent of the manangement.