17 workers were rescued from slavery-like labour conditions at Rock in Rio

Labour Inspectors rescued 17 workers from slavery-like labour conditions at the Rock in Rio on September 27. According to the inspectors, the were workers were regimented in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, with promises of good earnings and payment up to R$400.00 to works as street sellers for the company “Batata no Cone”. The payment was R$2.00 per product sold at the event, without payroll taxes and additional remuneration.

The auditors also verified the existence of indebted workers because they have not sold all the goods. They also paid for their own travel and medical certificates, had their documents retained by the company, did not receive food and were subjected to exhaustive working hours. Several street sellers were sleeping on the floor in an accommodation without hygienic conditions and located in a community close to the event.

On September 28, employers had to terminate contracts and pay indemnifications, in addition to having to pay the unemployment insurance to the rescued workers.

According to Article 149 of the Brazilian Penal Code, the characteristics of the slave-like labour conditions are:

  • degrading working conditions (characterized by the violation of fundamental rights that put the health and life of the workers at risk).
  • exhausting working hours (excessive stress or workload which causes damage to the health and life of the workers)
  • forced labour (keep the person in the service through fraud, geographic isolation, threats and physical and psychological violence)
  • debt bondage (make a worker illegally contract a debt)

Source: MTE