Thursday, September 6, 2012

What Lies Ahead For Brazil's Public Employee Unions?

In an analysis in Americas Quarterly, Lucy Johnson explores the potential fallout from the long-term strikes that just ended in Brazil. She points out that frustration with the inconveniences caused by the strikes have made the public less sympathetic to public employee unions than they have traditionally been in the past.

She writes that many of the strikers had legitimate complaints about salaries that are far lower than their private sector counterparts. On the other hand, some public employees enjoy salaries that are much higher than private sector workers.  The issue is complex.

In addition to the disruptions to public services, the author notes that Brazilians have become even more disenchanted with public employees because of scandals like the "mensalão," involving allegations of corruption and money laundering by public officials.

She concludes by suggesting that the time may be right for Brazil's leaders to examine the country's notoriously inefficient bureaucracy.  

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