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Owner of restaurant in Brazilian Congress linked to slave labor

slave labor congress
Farm linked to the owner of the restaurante in Brazil’s Congress building. Photo: MPT

Two workers were rescued from working in slave-like conditions on a farm in the Federal District, in an area close to the capital Brasília. The owners of the farm also own a restaurant located inside the Lower House of Congress, called Taioba.

The two workers were in charge of cutting down eucalyptus trees to heat an aviary. They slept in a corral with dung and venomous animals, had no access to a bathroom, and had to shower with a bucket even on cold days.

The case came to light when one of the men tried to get paid after a day’s work, which was denied, and fled the property on foot. He walked for five hours until arriving in Brasília.

After being rescued by teams from the Labor Ministry and other authorities, the two workers received labor rights and severance pay and were enrolled in the special unemployment insurance intended for those rescued from slave labor.

In a note from their lawyer cited by news website UOL, the owners of the farm stated that “a third party was hired to cut the wood and that neither the owners nor their manager were aware of the degrading situation of the workers.”