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Protests erupt in Brazilian cities over outsourcing of jobs

(Press TV)  Thousands of workers have staged rallies across a dozen cities in Brazil to protest against a proposed law that would allow companies to outsource jobs.

The Tuesday rallies were organized by the Central Workers Union (CTB), Brazil’s largest labor union umbrella organization, ahead of an expected vote by lawmakers on the measure.

Approximately 3,000 demonstrators showed up in front of the National Congress in the federal capital of Brasilia, where they briefly clashed with police.

In other cities, crowds of less than 500 people attended the protests. In Sao Paulo, Brazil’s financial and industrial nerve center, less than 1,000 people attended.

The CTB warns that the legislation could lead to dismissals and the hiring of outsourced workers at lower wages.

A demonstrator clashes with military police officers during a protest in Brazil’s capital city of Brasilia on April 7, 2015.

The rallies also highlighted support for state-run oil company Petrobras, which is at the center of what federal prosecutors call the biggest corruption scheme ever uncovered in the country’s history.

Prosecutors have reportedly uncovered documents on some USD 800 million in illegal funds such as bribes, kickbacks and price-fixing.

Though nobody has yet been convicted, dozens of political figures and former Petrobras executives are under suspicion over a scheme facilitating corruption and money laundering that saw an estimated USD 3.8 billion creamed off inflated contracts over a decade.

President Dilma Rousseff, who served as the head of Petrobras before taking office in 2010, also faces criticism for failing to act against corruption during her tenure at the oil company and later as the Brazilian president.