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Date updated : 27-Jan-2022

Status: active

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Meatworkers’ health and safety under attack in Brazil

The IUF is calling on members of the Ministry of Labour of Brazil to reject proposals to withdraw or amend NR 36, the regulations which govern health and safety in the meat and poultry industry.

The adoption of NR 36 in meat and poultry processing in 2013 was a major advance in Brazil and inspired the adoption of similar standards throughout Latin America. NR 36 is in compliance with International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 155, the international standard on occupational health and safety.

The Brazilian Government adopted NR 36 following 15 years of national and international campaigning for safer meat and poultry workplaces. NR 36 aims to halt the epidemic of repetitive strain and other injuries by regulating work practices to prevent such injuries. Repealing or amending this measure would significantly undermine the safety of over 500, 000 workers in the industry. NR 36 guarantees the participation of workers and their trade unions in developing and monitoring health and safety in the workplace in line with international standards including C155.

Today, in the midst of a global pandemic, Brazilian authorities, backed by powerful corporate interests, are preparing to withdraw or seriously weaken NR 36.

SIGN THE PETITION below to send a message to the Brazilian government that you support the campaign to defend health and safety regulations in Brazil’s meat industry.

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Mr Leandro Barbosa de Lima – Chefe de Gabinete do Ministro do Trabalho
Mr Eduardo Sampaio Marques – Chefe de Gabinete da Ministra da Agricultura
Mr Francisco Basilio Freitas De Souza – Assessor Especial da Ministra da Agricultura
Mr Marcelo da Siqueira Freitas - Ministério da Economia - Chefe da Assessoria Especial
Mr Paulo Roberto Nunes Guedes - Gabinete do Ministro da Economia
Mr João Henrique Nascimento de Freitas – Assessoria Especial do Presidente da República

Dear Sirs,

We have been informed by the global trade union federation, the IUF, that the Ministry of Labour of Brazil is considering withdrawing or amending NR36, the regulations governing health and safety in the meat industry.

NR 36 is critical to protecting the safety of workers in a hazardous industry where repetitive strain injuries, amputations, cuts, falls, stress, and exposure to zoonotic diseases and antimicrobial resistant (AMR) pathogens are regular occurrences. In the midst of a global pandemic, when crowded workplaces, cold and humid working conditions, lack of appropriate PPE and poor ventilation have combined to cause death or illness to hundreds of thousands of workers and their families, we demand that workplace health and safety regulations be maintained to protect workers from harm.

As the International Labour Organization (ILO) prepares to discuss declaring health and safety a Fundamental Principle and Right at Work, we remind you that NR 36 is in compliance with ILO standards and must not be weakened.

We urge you to oppose proposals to amend or withdraw NR 36.

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