Personnel d’ambassade en grève à Bruxelles et 16 autres villes du monde

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Personnel d’ambassade en grève à Bruxelles et 16 autres villes du monde

Le personnel des ambassades et consulats du Brésil, situes dans 17 villes du monde, dont Bruxelles, observera une grève de 48 heures, les 13 et 14 mai.  Les employés demandent une revalorisation des salaires gelés depuis 3 à 8 ans, ainsi qu’une liberté d’association et de représentation syndicale.

La grève dans les médias
Situation précaire pour le personnel des ambassades – Ecomatin (RTBF), 14 mai 2014 à 7h25

L’envers du décor des ambassades et des consulats n’est pas si rose.
Vous allez voir avec Françoise Gilain que les conditions de travail y sont parfois épouvantables.

Braziliaanse diplomaten in staking – Metro, 13 mei 2014
Een belangrijk deel van de diplomaten en andere medewerkers van ambassades en consulaten van Brazilië zijn dinsdag en woensdag in staking om hun looneisen kracht bij te zetten. De acties zullen volgens een actievoerder de visaverlening voor bijvoorbeeld bezoekers van het wereldkampioenschap voetbal komende maand in Brazilië ,,gevoelig belemmeren”.
De acties richten zich op Europa en Noord-Amerika, onder meer op de vertegenwoordigingen in Rotterdam, Brussel, Genève, Londen, Parijs en Rome en in nog zeker acht steden in Noord-Amerika. Het personeel klaagt dat de salarissen al 3 jaar hetzelfde zijn gebleven en eist ook op andere terreinen betere arbeidsvoorwaarden en meer persoonlijke vrijheid op de buitenlandse post. (Source:

17 ambassades en grève à travers le monde – Le Soir du 13 mai 2014
Le personnel des ambassades et consulats du Brésil, situes dans 17 villes du monde, dont Bruxelles, observera une grève de 48 heures, les 13 et 14 mai.  Les employés demandent une revalorisation des salaires gelés depuis 3 à 8 ans, ainsi qu’une liberté d’association et de représentation syndicale, indique lundi l’association pour les employés locaux dans les représentations brésiliennes à l’étranger (AFLEX), qui réclame encore l’arrêt des harcèlements que subissent ses membres.  La grève touchera les ambassades et consulats à Bruxelles, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Hartford, Londres, Paris, Francfort, Toronto, Montréal, Berne, Rome, Milan, Rotterdam et Genève (Source:AFP).

Message de Solidarité de la CNE
Ce message pour témoigner au nom de toute ma centrale notre solidarité à l’égard du personnel en action ces 13 et 14 mai.

Notre entier soutien quant aux revendications à défendre :

  • une reconnaissance du droit d’association et de liberté de parole et de syndicalisation
  • une augmentation des salaires (indexation) et des conditions de travail.

En solidarité avec vous toutes et tous !

Felipe Van Keirsbilck
Secrétaire Général


Communiqués de presse de l’AFLEX
Major protests and 48 hours strike at Brazilian foreign missions in  17 cities on May 13th and 14th

Worldwide strike would keep travelers from obtaining visas and consequently entering Brazil. Also other service as legalization of documents won’t be made.
Local staff of Brazilian diplomatic missions in the North America and Europe will begin a strike on May 13th. The strike would affect business and leisure travelers and major companies with close ties to Brazil.

The movement to close Brazilian missions around the world will also impact the country’s ability to process the increasing number of visa requests from travelers looking to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup.

WHAT:   Employees of Brazilian foreign missions will protest and strike for:

• Immediate negotiation with AFLEX (Association of local employees at Brazilian Foreign Missions) for a salary increase that can keep up with inflation for all Missions with salaries frozen from 3 to 8 years, salary review in the countries where current compensation are below the level of services rendered, and creation of clear rules and regulations governing a salary and wage policy.
• Approval of Bill 246/2013, moving through legislative process and voting in the Brazilian National Congress since July 2013, granting levels of hiring compensation that can be fair, just and decent;
• Right to freedom of speech, thought and expression and freedom of peaceful assembly and association, although the immediate cessation of persecutions, discrimination, retaliation, harassment and threats of lay-offs to the workforce, and to the leadership of AFLEX, in particular;

WHEN:  Protests, strike and shutdown will begin on May 13th to 14th.

Consulate-General of Brazil in Brussels, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, Atlanta, Hartford, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Toronto, Montreal, Bern, Rome, Milan, Rotterdam and Geneva.

WHO:    Brazilian diplomatic agents find themselves in an unprecedented “legal limbo” due to complex labor laws pertaining to the profession.  It is unclear which labor laws should be enforced, or which framework is used by Brazilian diplomatic missions. Currently “the rule of convenience” is being followed. Whichever set of rules is most beneficial to the employer, those are the ones imposed. The lack of understanding on both sides has left room for innumerous abuses at Brazilian diplomatic offices worldwide.

Employee grievances include the lack of basic employment rights. In addition, consulate agents are required to work unpaid weekends, while some are given the task of monitoring the consulate’s 24 hour emergency hotline without pay. Lately, the board of directors of AFLEX(, the employees association in Brazil, has been harassed, abused, bullied and extremely exposed to an unhealthy workplace environment.

In an effort to seek protection from wrongful employment practices, hundreds of employees of Brazilian diplomatic posts around the world, have signed a petition addressed to Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff( elected by the Labor Party) asking for better working conditions and requesting that officials protect the rights of locally hired staff, but no answer after 3 years. Also, AFLEX sent innumerous letters to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but nothing has been done.

The beginning: May 2011
PRESS RELEASE – Operation Wake-Up Call

Local employees at the Brazilian Diplomatic Mission have begun a peaceful protest entitled ‘Operation Wake-Up Call’. Reaching out to more than 400 personnel in 27 Brazilian Missionary Posts in 10 countries, this number keeps growing.

“Operation Wake-Up Call” has been planned in phases; we’ve sent correspondence to Brazilian President Mrs. Dilma Rousseff on May 5th, 2011. Initially the letter has been signed by 204 local employees in the USA, the largest number in history. A copy of the letter can be found separately. Days passed and similar letters have been sent by Brazilian Missionary Posts in the UK and Germany, while others are being prepared.

In 1995, Decreto 1.570 (a local law) was in effect, giving labor jurisdiction to the countries where the posts were located. These labor rules are not the same as those in the Brazilian constitution. While the theory seemed fine, practice has changed a lot. Upper management at the Brazilian Diplomatic Mission puts in action what is most convenient, oscillating between the local rules and the Brazilian laws. Local personnel are left in limbo with no protection.

A good example is the mandatory contribution to an equivalent Brazilian Social Security, INSS (Instituto Nacional de Seguridade Social) by all employees in the US who are not American citizens. We all contribute with the maximum deduction, but are only entitled to retirement pay, nothing else. The INSS has informed everyone that the benefit can be used, but the local laws don’t guarantee it.

Another example is the complete ignorance regarding the “13th month salary,” a common practice under Brazilian law. In the USA, the local employees have no rights to such a benefit, since salaries are paid on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. The salary is calculated on a monthly basis so it is divided in 4 weeks. Since the year has 52 weeks and not 48, local employees will be missing a full month of pay. The management does not follow the local laws, nor the Brazilian ones.

There are many examples to be cited, all related to work laws and regulations. There are no clear rules or work agreements with transparent regulatory laws, indicating a foreign or Brazilian overrule. All cases are studied and solved on an individual basis; workers have no protection.

We are looking for our rights in labor laws, as we feel left out by our own country. We are under the impression that no one wants to set the rules on regulations in the Diplomatic Brazilian Missions.

We are hoping for the Brazilian government to listen to our appeal and reflect upon our situation. We also have the option to go on a 24-hour standoff, though it may not be necessary should the government respond to our request.


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