Brazil’s Embraer Gets New Logo, But You Wouldn’t Know By Looking a It


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    Ms. Stephanie Bunker
    Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Advocacy and Public Information Section
    Room S-3628A, United Nations
    New York, NY 10017
    Tel: (917) 892 1679
    Fax: (212) 963 1312
    Dear Ms. Bunker,
    I am an ageing brazilian citizen. Having worked for 30 years as a flight attendant for the now extinct Varig Brazilian Airlines, I thought that the number 3 item in the “United Nations Principles for Older Persons” was observed in our case, as former employees of this airline:
    3. Older persons should be able to participate in determining when and at what pace withdrawal from the labour force takes place.
    Since 1982 we contributed to a pension fund for our retirement, hence our perception that what we signed for back in 82 was within item number 3 of the UN Principles for the elderly. Litle did we know then that this would be frustrated due to a series irresponsible acts well known to the brazilian authorities. The company, which was the sponsor to our pension fund went bankrupt. This led to a situation where we, the pensioneers, are seeing our benefits reduced every month. Actually we are only being paid circa 8% of our pensions until the last resources of the pension fund are not exhausted. Under such grave circumstances I have to refer to the number 11 item of the UNÀ‚´s Principles:
    11. Older persons should have access to health care to help them to maintain or regain the optimum level of physical, mental and emotional well- being and to prevent or delay the onset of illness.
    Given what I have exposed regarding item #3, “access to health care for optimum level of physical, mental and emotional well-being let alone to prevent or delay the onset of illnesses” in our case it has been seriously jeopardized. To counter that we need our human rights respected and our pensions fully paid. So we lag far behind item # 17 of the UNÀ‚´s Principles for Older Persons when it states that:
    17. Older persons should be able to live in dignity and security and be free of exploitation and physical or mental abuse.
    The least to say now is that we are being forcibly included into the most vulnerable groups of persons in Brazil; an inclusion that is in fact “social exclusion.” To live in dignity a person must retain some control of his or her life. Older persons suffer much more due to their particular condition. Without the savings of a lifetime no one is capable of living in dignity and security. Without hardly earned resources through a lifetime of serious work an old person indeed feels physically and mentally abused. Some 300 former Varig employees just didnÀ‚´t make it, Ms. Bunker. Having already left us, no solution to this nightmare will ever reach them. But it could help their surviving loved ones.
    Dear Ms. Bunker if this has touched you a bit, please let the Brazilian Authorities know that the solution is in their hands and they just have to ensure that Justice is served. We will be deeply grateful if you send a note to the Brazilian government on behalf of former and retired employees of the late Varig Brazilian Airlines.
    JosÀƒ© Carlos Bolognese
    Flight attendant (retired)

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