The Chamber of Deputies sanctioned, last Wednesday, the law that establishes historical compensation for former workers and builders of the Itaipu plant. It is about US$ 940 million to be distributed among more than 15 thousand workers.
The initiative is now in the hands of the Executive, which must enact or veto. Although, at the end of this edition, the president had not yet pronounced, Hernán Huttemann, chief of the civilian cabinet of the presidency, has already announced that he will recommend the veto to the national president.
This is a case in which the employees of the Paraguayan contractors, at the time, were already fully compensated by those contractor companies. They were compensated in accordance with Paraguayan law. Those who were compensated on the Brazilian side were employed by Itaipu. Unlike the Paraguayans, the Itaipu employees were compensated for benefits provided for in Brazilian law. On the contrary, those on the Paraguayan side resorted to Justice and even reached the Supreme Court of Justice (CJS) where they lost in all instances.
Santiago Aníbal González, lawyer, adviser and labor litigator, explains that it has already been shown that the benefits that were provided on the Brazilian side were not provided on the Paraguayan side and therefore they are totally different legal situations. “It is a political situation that does not have legal support at this point, since there cannot be a right so many years later as the construction of the hydroelectric plant was,” he commented.
The lawyer explains that at the bottom of the matter justice seems to be given since for equal dangerousness, equal remuneration corresponds, but he stressed that this is not the time to ask for these claims. “The life, health or physical integrity of a Brazilian is not worth more than that of a Paraguayan. Therefore, at the time, the legal labor conditions of these workers could probably have been better negotiated. Therefore, after so many years, with the reservations of the prescription of the case, there is no longer a legal granting in this regard, ”he sentenced.