Power of Trade Unions is Further Reduced

Written by | Contracts

Following the series of changes Brazil’s employment laws, Brazil’s President published a new Provisional Measure 873/2019 addressing one of the most hotly contested topics of the employment reform – the obligation of employees to join trade unions.

Since Law 13,467/2017 and the Laws and Provisional Measures that followed came into force, trade unions have been losing substantial power and sources of funds. This is in sharp contrast with what took place since the end of the Brazilian dictatorship when year after year trade unions increased their power to influence employment relations.

Law 13,467/2017 purported to end the obligation of employees to join a trade union. However, trade unions kept interpreting the provisions in Law 13,467/2017 as allowing employers to deduct trade union fees from employees’ wages. Provisional Measure 873/2019 puts an end to this, making it clear that an employee will only be liable for union fees if he or she expressly provides specific prior written approval that is personally and voluntarily given (with any trade union rule providing otherwise being deemed null and void).

Provisional Measure 873/2019 came into force on 1 March 2019.

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Last modified: March 13, 2019