RIO DE JANEIRO (Brazil): Along at the foot of an tall building in downtown Rio de Janeiro, government workers align for donated groceries, struggling to buy their unique his or her salaries are not paid.
Inside, for the 13th floor, a food bank create using a labour union is giving away plastic bags of groceries to assist state employees as Brazil struggles through its worst recession in a very century.
The state of Rio, that is certainly dealing with bankruptcy, has stopped paying salaries and pensions amid the crisis – leaving nearly half a thousand people along with their families to be determined by private charity.
Celia Moitas Pinto and her sister donated two large bags of food in “solidarity.”
Pinto’s sister works best the federal government herself. But the girl with still getting paid as a result of a court injunction requiring the state to prevent paying salaries of employees during the justice system.
She is luckier than her colleagues in public places health insurance and education, that have not been paid since November.
“One can find recessions all over the world, but here it’s been because of theft and corruption,” Pinto said bitterly.
“I’m embarrassed to be Brazilian,” the 71-year-old added.
Sergio Cabral, the previous governor who led Rio in the economic boom that has now gone bust, was jailed in November on corruption, money laundering and racketeering charges.
A judge has frozen element of his assets, ruling he “led to the financial doom and gloom devastating the state” by granting undue regulations and tax breaks to favored companies in his administration (2007-2014).
Cabral’s wife is currently behind bars for a passing fancy charges.
The food bank was set up via the justice system workers’ union Sindijustica.
Inside its headquarters, some 30 people sorted donated food into piles.
Many wore black t-shirts that read: “Individuals will never pay for the crisis.”
“We put rice, coffee, beans, etc…. hygiene products to lower our colleagues’ anguish and suffering,” said volunteer Silvana Soares, a 57-year-old court official.
“Ladies passed civil service exams for getting where they can be, and today they finish up in this humiliating situation.”
Rio, which played host to the two 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics, has long been their state hit hardest because of the crisis gripping Brazil, Latin America’s largest economy.
Its hospitals are less than supplies, its streets are regularly flooded by government workers demanding their paychecks, and it is police force sometimes has no paper or fuel.
Rio’s payroll is just about the biggest drains on its troubled finances.
The Rio state has a lot more than 220,000 employees, plus 247,000 retired government workers. Its monthly wage and pension bill – when it pays up – pertains to two billion reals (US$610 million).
The food bank has collected more than 20 a lot of donated groceries and distributed 1,500 baskets given it was create previous to Christmas, said fire captain Marcelo Mata, another volunteer.
He too is still receiving payment as a possible employee deemed vital for public security.
“I consider myself lucky,” the 43-year-old said. “However, for for how long?
“We are living a paradox in such a city. We spend some money choosing Year’s Eve fireworks on Copacabana Beach, but behind the curtain state employees have absolutely nothing.”
Still, those helped by the food bank are touched with the donations.
“We’re experiencing an unprecedented crisis. I give thanks to everyone who’s helping us,” said Yara da Silva, a 50-year-old nurse’s aide.
She continues to looking forward to her November salary of $320, how the government now says will likely be deposited in five payments starting January 5.
“But what about December, and my Christmas bonus? It’s hard. Very, very hard,” da Silva said.
Outside the house, the long line crept along.
“This really is humiliating,” said septuagenarian pensioner Maurico Lucas. “I managed to get up at 4am to come get food handouts, after 38 numerous work.
“All a result of the government’s absence of responsibility.”