The Chamber of Councilors of Caxias do Sul unanimously accepted the impeachment requests of councilor Sandro Fantinel in an ordinary session held this Thursday (2). With that, a processing parliamentary commission was created to evaluate the impeachment. The group has 90 days to make a decision. The councilor has already been expelled from the Patriot party, of which he was a member.
On Tuesday (28), in a speech at the Chamber of Councilors of the city of Rio Grande do Sul, he asked that the producers in the region “do not hire those people from above”referring to workers coming from Bahia.
Most of the workers hired for the grape harvest came from the northeastern state. The councilor’s speech was about the 200 men found in a situation similar to slavery in a lodging in Bento Gonçalves, in the Serra Gaúcha.
In addition to his expulsion from the party and possible impeachment, a police report was filed against him by state deputy Leonel Radde (PT) on Tuesday (28). The Ministry of Labor (MPT) of RS also announced that it will investigate the parliamentarian for apology for slave labor.
In the speech, Sandro Fantinel blames the employees for the conditions in which they were found. “A farmer called me and asked me to see a lodging where temporary workers stay and I couldn’t get in because of the stench of urine, the filth they left in a week. And whose fault is it? Will the boss have to pay the employee to clean up for the bonito? Do we have to put them in a five-star hotel so we don’t have a problem with the Ministry of Labor?”, He questioned, before mentioning the Bahians.
Then, the councilor told agricultural companies and farmers not to hire workers from Bahia. “Don’t hire those people upstairs anymore. Hire Argentines. They are clean, hardworking, correct and when they leave they are still grateful for the work.”
In a recorded session, the councilor continues: “We never had a problem with a group of Argentines. Now with the Bahians, whose only culture is living on the beach playing drums, it was normal to have this kind of problem. And let this be a lesson. May you leave aside those people who are used to Carnival and parties.”, he continues.
“If slavery was so bad, why didn’t they want to leave the company? Let’s open our eyes when they talk about ‘work analogous to slavery’”, she concludes.
remember the case
About 200 men, who lived in conditions analogous to slavery, were rescued by the Federal Highway Police (PRF) in Bento Gonçalves, in the Serra do Rio Grande do Sul. According to information from the corporation, the location of the victims was made on the night of Wednesday (22).
Initially, the Ministry of Labor and Employment (MTE) reported that there were 150 people. However, the number was updated late Thursday afternoon (23) by g1 Rio do Rio Grande do Sul. At the moment, the men are temporarily housed at the Darcy Pozza gym.
It all started when 3 workers ran away from the accommodation they were kept in and sought police help in Caxias do Sul. They said they came from Bahia to work in the grape harvest with the promise of salaries in excess of R$3,000, in addition to accommodation and food. However, nothing was accomplished.
In practice, workers reported delays in wage payments, physical violence, long working hours and the supply of spoiled food. In an interview with RBS TV, one of the men detailed the conditions in which he and his colleagues lived in the accommodation offered by the employers and the relationship with the company responsible for hiring them.
“Every day, we wake up with the thought of going home. But there’s no way for people to go home, because they arrest us in a way that either we stay or, if we don’t want to stay, we’ll die. If we want to leave, break the contract, leave without the right to anything, not even the days worked, without a ticket, without anything. So, we are forced to stay, ”he said.
The victims also point out cases of coercion to remain in the place, under penalty of paying a fine for breach of the employment contract. And cases of violence with electric shock and pepper spray.