young people are forced to make a choice between study and
work. Generally speaking, in all of the metropolitan regions
that have been analyzed, the number of poorer young people who
succeed in reconciling work and study is much lower than the
number of young people from families with greater resources.
in Brazil in 2005: Challenges and perspectives
Lula’s promise to create 10 million jobs during his
presidency has not come to pass.
The economic and political logic employed by this
government that has as its primary target a trade surplus
(which constantly breaks new records), shows that the priority
is not the creation of new jobs, and even less a solution to
the immense social problems of Brazil.
issue of employment in our country is very far from being
resolved; unemployment, reforms of social security (already
carried out), reforms of union and worker organizations (to be
carried out in the near future) threaten basic rights that
have been gained by the working class over time.
serious problem that worsens all the time in our country is
what is called “outsourcing“. Before saying too much more
about it, we should understand what it represents, and its
perverse effects on the workers of Brazil.
is a management strategy characterized by the transfer of some
service or the production of some product to another company,
or external institution by means of a contractual agreement
between the parties. The main kinds of outsourcing are:
deverticalization, contractual use of services, franchising,
purchase of services, third party representation,
subcontracting, and permitting. Outsourcing is not an isolated
phenomenon, but a management strategy linked to various
contexts - political, economic, social, technological, and
specifically on its effects on workers, outsourcing is
promoted as a factor in increasing flexibility, in the
elimination of direct economic costs to the contracting
company such as hiring costs, firing costs, training costs,
and the expense of benefits packages. In the area of working
conditions, outsourcing has obvious effects: unlicensed
subcontracting, licensed contracting but without benefits,
decrease in wages, generally worsened working conditions,
employment under great pressure, loss of regular wages with
corresponding increase in overtime, and deterioration of
health and security in the workplace, amongst other things.
main effects of outsourcing in Brazil were reduction of the
direct influence of workers, disempowerment of workers, lack
of organization for strikes, elimination of union action and
elimination of worker action.
the perspective of workers, the consequences of outsourcing
are very serious, accentuating the differentiation between the
contractor, the client, and the service providers. Union
representation is also affected by this process, since in the
majority of cases outsourced workers fall outside the coverage
of representative union organizations within the contracting
types of contractual relations have been a major concern for
the union movement worldwide, given the brutal reduction in
standards of employment and the increase in workplace
deregulation. Outsourcing is not only constantly increasing in
the private sector, but is also increasing in the public
sector. As time goes by, the government contracts out more and
more of the work previously done by tenured employees to
temporary staffing agencies, for example.
the area of unemployment, the greatest victims continue to be
our young people. This is the conclusion of the research
project “Youth: Diversification and challenges in the urban
job market” carried out by the Department of Statistics and
Socio-Economic Studies (Dieese).
in the area of unemployment amongst the youngest, the reality
is even more difficult for the most impoverished. In the past
year, the level of unemployment amongst the poorest reached
58.5% in São Paulo. By comparison, the unemployment level
amongst yoth from more well-off families is 22.1%. This
research project took as a reference point the poorest 25% and
the richest 25% of the population, illustrating the enormous
level of social inequality in Brazil.
in the age group from 16 to 24 years of age is almost twice
that of the general population.
According to research carried out by the insurance
company Cardif, on a scale from 0 to 10, the degree of anxiety
about unemployment amongst young people is 8.5. One of the
factors that triggers this degree of anxiety is inexperience,
and yet it is absurd to expect work experience from someone
who is just entering the workforce.
is an important point arising out of this research, and that
is the position of young women. Women are finding it
increasingly difficult to obtain work. In the metropolitan
area of São Paulo for example, 81.5% of young men find
employment but for young women this number reaches only 72.2%.
Despite this, we observe a significant increase in the number
of young women looking for work in greater São Paulo: this
number was 56% in 2004 but today it has reached 72.2%.
very worrying issue is the fact that many young people are
forced to make a choice between study and work. The period
between the ages of 16 and 24 is the time when young people
normally finish their academic programs and enter the job
again we see that the problems are much worse for the most
impoverished members of society. Generally speaking, in all of
the metropolitan regions that have been analyzed, the number
of poorer young people who succeed in reconciling work and
study is much lower than the number of young people from
families with greater resources. This difference can be
expressed numerically: in the metropolitan area of São Paulo,
13.4% of young people from low income families versus 8.7% of
young people from richer families.
even more serious issue is the increased number of young
people who are unable to study and to enter into the
workforce. The numbers below show the range of activity
amongst young people in São Paulo.
and seek work
work or seek work
2005, the research on employment and unemployment (PED)
carried out by the SEADE foundation shows that the rate of
unemployment, estimated at 17.5% in April decreased to 17.1%
in the economically active population (PEA).
rate of unemployment decreased in the city of São Paulo from
16.2% to 15.4%; in the ABC area (Santo Andre, São Bernardo do
Campo and São Caetano), from 17.1% to 16.8%; and registered a
slight increase in the São Paulo metropolitan area from 19.2%
this slight improvement in employment, the government still
has a major problem to resolve. The pressure to implement
“reforms” is affecting workers in different sectors.
neo-liberal reforms proposed by the Lula administration can
generate protests against the government.
It appears that the government is now proposing a
mini-reform of the unions, which would be a way to reduce
resistance among workers, and will require less time and
political negotiation for approval. In whatever shape, we
believe that these reforms are a great threat to the working
class, which must continue to mobilize against violations of
Paulo César Pedrini is a historian, completing a Masters in
Social and Political History at PUC-SP and is
coordinator of the Worker’s Urban Pastoral Project (Pastoral
Operária Metropolitana de São Paulo) in