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Reports of electoral harassment exceed 2,000

Four years ago, MTA registered 212 complaints against 98 companies. This year, the number of cases already exceeds the total indicator of 2018.

Taisa Oliveira
Brazil D.F

Electoral harassment complaints to the MPT (Ministry of Labor) this Friday reached 2,243 (28), which is 10 times more than in 2018. 1731 businessmen or state managers are suspected.

Four years ago, MTA registered 212 complaints against 98 companies. This year, the number of cases in three states: Minas Gerais (542), Paraná (243) and São Paulo (229) is already higher than the total for 2018. Santa Catarina is fourth (208) and Rio Grande do Sul is fifth (194).

Accusations of employers coercing workers or promising benefits in exchange for votes skyrocketed after the first round of elections and alarmed the campaign of former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (PT).

While no polls have been released about which candidate will benefit the most from the illegal practices seen so far, most of the reports that have reached the public are from businessmen and mayors who support the re-election of President Jair Bolsonaro (PL).

Labor Attorney General Jose de Lima Ramos Pereira told Folha de S.Paulo this Friday that MPT did not collect data by candidate because the information was unrelated to the organization’s work.

“The stats we’ve been looking for are the ones that help our performance. The number of complaints, where are these complaints, in which state, which region, which companies were condemned? “The issue of the candidate receiving benefit or damage from electoral harassment in labor relations is not in our attribution list,” he said.


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“What is the purpose of the Public Ministry of Labor? That is, in companies, unions, cooperatives, anywhere developed labor relations, this does not happen. [assédio eleitoral]. And if it happens, let it be properly fought. That is our concern. That’s why we don’t [levantamento por candidato]”.

Due to the increase in cases, labor prosecutors of all marzes were called to work this weekend and tried to prevent, for example, employers from keeping documents from employees.

The TST (Supreme Labor Court) stated that it is obliged to “ensure the full realization of fundamental rights and the proper functioning of the judiciary.”

TST President, Minister Lelio Bentes Correa sent a letter to the TRTs (Regional Labor Courts) recommending that they also activate the second shift weekend duty regime.


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“The worst thing that can happen is to come on election day and have a company that doesn’t allow workers to vote with scales that don’t allow them to leave the place. We must at least be ready to receive this information and seek an immediate solution, because we only have between 8 am and 5 pm,” said Ramos Pereira.

“That’s why I decided to open all our branches across the country. I also spoke with the minister [do TST]Lelio Bentes, who quickly decided the shifts in the labor court,” he added.

Unearthed reports showed employers blackmailing workers into voting for the president with promises of ham, vacation, a 200-rouble dollar bonus, 14th and 15th paychecks, or threats to fire workers if Lula was elected.

One exception came in Bahia, where a union director who is a councilor and candidate for state parliament was recorded on video threatening anyone who would vote for Bolsonaro. The case was closed in September with the signing of an agreement with the MTA.


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HOW AND WHERE TO REPORT?

The MPT recommends that workers file complaints with as much physical evidence as possible, such as documents, images, and text or audio messages. They can be made throughout Brazil and anonymously through the website of the public ministry of work.

– MPT website: mpt.mp.br/ouvidoria
– via the MPT Ouvidoria app for Android devices
– Through the Pardal app, which also communicates with the Electoral MP, for IOS and Android
– In each category union
– In the Federal Public Ministry, link: https://aplicativos.mpf.mp.br/ouvidoria/app/cidadao/manifestacao/cadastro/2
– in regional prosecutors; see the contacts of the states with this link: https://www.mpf.mp.br/pge/institucional/procuradores-regionais


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