Brazil: Campaign for the Resumption of Work at Stalled Construction Projects produces first results

26 September 2017 07:16


According to the Brazilian National Confederation of Municipalities, there are more than 8,000 stalled projects throughout the country and more than 11,000 approved projects that have not yet begun. For Nilson Duarte Costa, president of the heavy construction workers´ union of Rio de Janeiro, SITRAICP RJ, stalled construction represent "a declaration of administrative incompetence and often also the expression of the thirst for profit and bad management by the main contractor".

The combined value of these projects totals more than R$ 10 billion ($3 billion USD). Stalled construction projects mean additional and unexpected expenditures for responsible public agencies including: security of facilities; corrosion of metals; electricity; contractual fines; onerous termination of contracts, etc. with service providers and suppliers.

In view of the above, the construction trade unions affiliated with BWI have been building a campaign "For the Resumption of Work at Stalled Construction Project" with the intention of highlighting the deep crisis that the sector has been suffering given the enormous amount of stalled construction projects.

According to Bebeto Galvão, regional vice-president of BWI Latin America and the Caribbean, "stalled construction causes incalculable losses, stops generating jobs and income for workers in the sector, fails to provide improvements and social benefits in addition to the problem of deterioration, all of which represents public money thrown away". "In addition, it affects the entire surrounding community, which sees its properties and small businesses devalue or fail," adds Loteba, representative of the president of the construction workers´ union of de Candeias, (SITICCAN).

However, the Campaign is starting to work. In Rio de Janeiro, the resumption of Bus Rapid Transit, which was partially completed for the Olympic Games, "is generating around 1,000 direct jobs and 2,000 if suppliers are added," said Nilson Duarte of SITRICP-RJ. In Mato Grosso, Joaquim Dias Santana, President of the Union of Workers in the Civil Construction Industry of Cuiabá, said that thanks to the pressure of the union, articulated by the BWI, the problems of stalled projects have gained visibility: "Thanks to our campaign, state representatives have supported us and have been putting pressure on the government". This mobilization already has results:"This week two projects are being resumed and 150 workers will be employed. In the next weeks, subsidized housing will resume. No doubt this is just the start. If we maintain our pressure, we will advance in our achievements" Santana finished.

On 24 and 25 October 2017, trade unions affiliated to the BWI will hold a National Day in the capital, Brasilia to demand to the federal authorities to immediately resume stalled construction in order to generate employment and income for workers in the construction sector.