The consequences of the work-to-rule campaign of federal agricultural inspectors in the production, export and import of agribusiness products and inputs are beginning to impact players in the sector. Leaders report “concern” about delays in the sanitary certification or customs clearance processes, but the impacts are still unknown.
Cargoes of agricultural products, some destined for China, are stopped at ports. There are already lines of trucks at border depots in Foz do Iguaçu (Paraná) and Dionísio Cerqueira (Santa Catarina) with items imported from Argentina and Chile.
Exporters are pressuring the inspectors and consider the measures as “procrastinating.” A letter from the Brazilian Beef Industry and Exporters Association (Abiec), sent to member companies last week, says that the essence of the auditors’ mobilization “is to create even more encumbrance and stoppages.”
In September, during an operation by the inspectors, Abiec obtained a provisional ruling to force the continuity of “services of inspection of industrialized products and the issuance of health certificates” until the judgment of the writ of mandamus. According to the organization, the decision also supports companies in the work-to-rule campaign. The letter, obtained by Valor, states that Abiec associates should guide any federal agricultural tax auditors “creating difficulties in the fulfillment of its legal obligations” to resume his ordinary activities with base in the court order.
“When pointing out difficulties to the production, the association itself does not realize that the biggest difficulty is its intimidating posture. After all, the inspectors are under no obligation to comply with a court decision received through unofficial means, such as, for example, the statement prepared by the association,” says a letter signed by Janús Pablo, head of Anffa Sindical, the auditors’ union. The union says that the mobilization is not a strike and that it strictly follows the principle of legality. Any “intimidation” of private agents must be reported, according to the text.
“We are worried. While we support the auditors’ right, we need to maintain production and export. I’m sure the auditors will be sensitive to understand the need to avoid delaying production too much,” said Ricardo Santin, president of the Brazilian Animal Protein Association (ABPA).
There are still no official surveys on the impacts of the work-to-rule action. Auditors heard clarify that the intention is not to harm society, but to be able to sensitize the government to improve the category’s working conditions. The Ministry of Agriculture did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
In a meeting at the end of December, professionals affiliated with the Anffa Sindical decided not to strike or stop working. However, they adopted the work-to-rule campaign, in which they comply with the statutory deadlines for the activities and are limited to working eight hours a day, without carrying out extra hours or shifts.
The measure is a way of putting pressure on the federal government for salary adjustments and new public hiring tests to make up for the deficit in civil servants. Agricultural auditors are also studying handing over positions, similar to what other mobilized federal categories want, such as Central Bank and Federal Revenue employees.
Upon returning from the year-end break at the Ministry of Agriculture earlier this week, the employees told their managers that, following the statutory deadlines and fulfilling the eight hours of daily services, from Monday to Friday, the next export certificates would only be issued in five days.
The inspectors continue to act within the law, according to the union, following the deadlines set out in rules and regulations, but the high demand and lack of civil servants hinder the processes. “If meatpackers inspectors limit themselves to working eight hours a day, it will already cause inconvenience. As it is, it would be enough to comply with the procedural deadlines and the working day to cause delays,” another source told Valor.
The union calls for the end of “strenuous workdays, of unpaid overtime, at the end of continuous and exhausting work from Sunday to Sunday.” The category does not know how many overtime hours were worked. The Ministry of Agriculture stopped releasing the balance. Anffa requested it by letter, but got no answers.
Source: Valor international