Union dues drop after labor reform

Union dues drop after labor reform

The collection of companies totaled R$3 billion in 2017; fell to BRL 53.6 million in H1 2022

The collection of entities with union dues has fallen sharply following the labor reform that has been in effect since November 2017. In that year, the revenues for unions, federations, confederations and centers amounted to R$ 3 billion. In 2021, it fell to BRL 65.6 million. In H1 2022 it was BRL 53.6 million.

The union dues was a tax that applied prior to labor reform. It has been in effect since 1940 and was overturned in 2017. Is deducted from wages once a year in the amount of 1 normal working day. Today, people have the opportunity to contribute to unions if they choose to do so.

The Minister of Labor and Employment, Luiz Marinho, wants to strengthen the trade union movement in the government of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT). One of the measures on the table is strengthening collective bargaining and returning the ‘bargaining fee’. In practice, it is a hidden tax.

The “bargaining fee” is an amount paid to the union for a specific action, such as a salary campaign. The amount could be compulsorily deducted from the employee’s paycheck. The measure would have to have the approval of Congress. Marinho said the government would not support returning the tribute.

Unions who deal with workers received BRL1.47 billion in 2017. The amount fell to BRL 10.9 million in the first half of last year. In 2021, it totaled R$13.1 million.


The most important union center CUT (Central Única dos Trabalhadores) received R$ 62.2 million in 2017. In the first 6 months of 2022, it totaled R$225.2 thousand. Other organizations also saw a sharp decline in collection.


The income from trade unions, associations and employers’ associations amounted to R$ 37.5 million in the first half of the year. Labor organizations raised R$16.1 million.


President Lula had a meeting with union officials this Wednesday (January 18, 2023). Unionists defended a real increase in the minimum wage to over R$1,320.

The economic team defends that the value set at R$ 1,302 already has a real profit, ie above inflation. Finance Minister Fernando Haddad did not attend because he is in Davos, Switzerland.