Olympics 2016: In the final stretch of the works, the suspension of the document known as Dirty List may worsen working conditions of Brazilian workers

An article published by the British newspaper The Guardian, on March 2nd , 2016, shows concern about the possible increase in the number of cases of slavery-like working conditions in Brazil due to not only the suspension of the Dirty List, instrument that implement business restriction to companies benefited directly or indirectly from slavery-like working conditions; but also the proximity to the Olympic games. The concern is also shared by the National Coordinator of the Program to Combat Forced Labour of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Luiz Machado as shown in the article.

The Dirty List was established in 2003, and it publishes the names of the companies that were fined in the inspections by the Ministry of Labour for the use of slavery-like working conditions and had this assessment confirmed after administrative proceedings. The list gained more importance after the launch of the National Pact for the Eradication of Slave Labor, a document signed for more than 400 companies, including public and private banks and national and foreign companies operating in Brazil, who have committed to establish business restrictions with companies listed in the Dirty List.

The suspension was granted by the Minister Ricardo Lewandowski, the Supreme Court (STF) at the end of last year, following a lawsuit of the Associação Brasileira de Incorporadoras Imobiliárias (Abrainc), which is formed by well-known construction companies such as : Andrade Gutierrez, Cyrela Brazil Realty S/A- Empreendimentos e Participações and Odebrecht Realizações Imobiliárias S.A. It is estimated that the updated of the Dirty List which the publication was suspended, would have more than 700 companies’ names.

The suspension of the Dirty List raised concern with the working conditions of the works of the Olympics, not only because they attract thousands of workers from various regions of the country and also immigrants, which has a higher degree of vulnerability; but also because for two times workers have been found slavery-like working conditions. Furthermore, a study conducted by FUNDACENTRO in partnership with BWI, which analyzed the fatal accident in the works of the 2014 World Cup, shows an worsen in the working conditions with the proximity of the deadline of the works of the mega events.

The Building and Wood Workers International (BWI), has been organizing the Campaign for Decent Work towards and beyond 2016, in the works of the Olympics in order to ensure safe working conditions for workers who are building the infrastructure for the Olympics 2016.