sábado, 30 de maio de 2015

Discurso da Aflex em Bruxelas, com a presença do Primeiro Ministro

O discurso foi traduzido simultaneamente para 3 idiomas   
Rio de Janeiro, May 24th, 2015

Greetings to all,
I would like to congratulate all local workers of diplomatic missions with representation in Belgium for taking the initiative and opportunity to start negotiations to redefine the employment rights and relationship between foreign diplomatic missions in this country and their respective local workers. AFLEX is represented here today by Luiz Carlos Chagas, who is the Vice-President, currently working for the Embassy of Brazil in London and Marcia Ramos, AFLEX Executive Director, who currently works for the Brazilian Consulate in Paris. Both would be glad to share experiences and information regarding developments, which took place following AFLEX creation in 2011.

The AFLEX is the result of the clamor from about 4.000 local workers working abroad for the Brazilian Foreign Affairs Government Department. Previously, we were without any form of representation and as a result, voiceless. In May 2011, three local workers were discussing through a phone conversation their legal limbo, and the idea to create an Association came up, and I am very proud for being one of them. Soon after, we contacted our counterparts working in Europe and they immediately joined the initial movement, although we had heard that it would be impossible and that we were crazy.  The idea began to take shape.  And to paraphrase one of Nelson Mandela’s saying “ It always seems impossible until it is done” and in our case it really happened.  During the initial contacts we found out that it was not a problem only in the United States but in all countries hosting foreign diplomatic missions.

We faced several challenges after the creation of AFLEX, the biggest one was to come out of the shadow of fear, and have the courage to show our faces and claim basic employment rights. It is true to say that locally hired employees are in limbo without precedent and in some countries more than in others. We presented our situation to several Senators who were ready to create two drafts of law (House Bill) for consideration, but, the Brazilian government since then has always positioned itself against to these projects and treat us as if we were invisible.

Without much options of persuasion, on the 13th and 14th of May 2014, we went on a strike, and at that time the INTERSINDICAL gave us its valuable support for which we are extremely grateful. As a result, we managed to secure visibility in the government, national and international media coverage showing to Brazil and the world that we exist as a class of workers. But, we have suffered consequences such as persecution, different types of harassment and a some were sacked as a result. The Board of AFLEX suffered an enormous pressure but managed to remain standing with the support of Senators.

We have a common struggle and we believe that united and through class representation we can achieve our common goal. The fight is hard and it is not only a fight for the definition a specific labor law (creating, improving and enforcing), it is also for dignity and justice. This fight is not only limited to those working for the Brazilian government, it is the same for workers based in Belgium as well as in other countries around the world.

We congratulate the INTERSINDICAL for promoting this important meeting in Brussels and the exposure of injustice, arbitrariness and poor working conditions in which the Local Workers of diplomatic representations are being subjected to for decades.  Belgium is known for being the host country of several international institutions like (European Union Headquarters, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe-SHAPE, the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization-NATO etc.) and also for being a hub for international contacts.
We do hope that Belgium will be at the forefront of historical decisions on this regard, as well as, in relation to the protection of fundamental human rights, and consequently be the country to kick-off the implementation of these necessary changes and be a diplomatic example for all other nations.

Thank You !

          Claudia Siano Rajecki

                                                           Luiz Carlos Chagas
                                                         May 30h, 2015 - Brussels

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