On the end of the public retirement and rural workers

Friday, March 22, 2019
Info Source: 
Kelli Mafort | Pagina do MST

They want to create the idea that there is a gap in foresight and that rural workers are the main culprits.

We need to fight against the destruction of the Public Pension System. PEC 06/2019 proposed by the Bolsonaro government to the legislature is an affront to social rights and affects mainly women, teachers and rural workers.

The proposal puts an end to the tripod of Social Security, Healthcare and Social Assistance, provided for in the Constitution and solidarity scheme between active workers and retirees. In this terrible proposal, the tendency is for every pension system to become an individual and private capitalization, administered by the banks, the only beneficiaries of such changes. There are currently pension funds that address supplementary retirement.

But the proposal of PEC 06/2019 is not that. It is a kind of private and individual compulsory savings, and some who are more naive may say that "it is good to save," but here we are talking about replacing the right of retirement with a savings plan to be speculated on by the financial system. This is serious! And those who dream of having full retirement should have 40 years of contribution.

In the case of the rural worker, the issue is explosive, bringing many in the countryside to levels of absolute misery, as the proposed law determines that the age for the retirement of men and women is 60 years and requires 20 years of individual contribution, establishing the minimum value of 600.00 per year for each family group, regardless of whether the family sold a product or not.

Currently, rural women can retire at 55 years and men at 60. And the current rule is 15 years of contribution of 1.2% on the sale of products or recognition of rural activity attested by a labor union or other forms of evidence . It is worth remembering that MP 871/19 determined that trade unions, cooperatives or workers' associations are prevented from issuing such declarations. So the bureaucracy required to retire, tends to increase.

Bolsonaro's proposal penalizes rural women, since we know how much rural women work indoors and on the farm. In a macho society, exploitation over women is even heavier than men.

In addition, the increase of contribution from 15 to 20 years is a disrespect of rural people. We know how much the rural work is exhausting and that the working life of rural workers is reduced, by the painful, exposure to the sun and rain, to the contaminations with pesticides. Poor and rich people do not grow old at the same age, and those who work in an office, however exploited, are not exposed to the conditions of rural work.

They want to create the idea that there is a gap in foresight and that rural workers are to blame. Lie! They say that we are 32% of the pension scheme and that in this sector the deficit is 58%. Truth be told, who owes a lot to Social Security is the big landowners and agribusiness companies. Vale and JBS are among the biggest tax dodgers and hardly anyone speaks of these "rural" ones.

Another nonsense is the decrease in the value of the Continuous Protection Benefit - BPC, which by the proposal of Bolsonaro would be well below the minimum wage, at the R$400.00 mark. The debate is still underway in Congress and the Senate, but mobilization is crucial, especially for women now on March 8. We can and must defeat this cruel proposal, which is inspired by the Chilean pension reform, which was implemented in the midst of the dictatorship in that country, whose current balance after almost 40 years is 79% receiving below the minimum wage and 44% of the population living below of the poverty line.

Finally, the Temer coup made a “labor reform” that results in precarious work as a rule, that is, downgrades the formal to the precarious conditions of the informal, but legally. With this formal work can even grow, but it will be devoid of fundamental rights.

The growth of formal work, even if precarious, increases the potential of social security collection. And it's this billion-dollar and lucrative fund that the financial system wants to snag.

Therefore, comrades wear boots, choose your best handkerchiefs and sharpen the machetes, for the fight lies ahead!

* Kelli Mafort is the national director of the MST