Eduardo Intrieri had been looking for a job for almost two years, as The Brazilian Report revealed in the first part of this story. The efforts of the 25-year-old Brazilian engineer finally paid off in June 2017. A call for an interview at a company in a neighboring city was his big shot. When he sat for a talk with the Human Resources director, however, Eduardo thought there was a misunderstanding. The company was seeking an intern – or at least someone willing to take an intern’s pay.
“I was shocked,” he remembers. “It was confusing, but I had to make a decision right there.” He ended up following the HR professional’s advice. In the application form, when faced with the “salary expectation” field, he wrote down what the company was prone to pay: BRL 1,300 (USD 390) per month. “I thought at some point they would realize I had finished college and pay me more,” he concedes. That never happened.
The sum agreed on the contract is six and a half times lower than the base pay for engineers in Brazil. As a contractor, he is also not entitled to paid leave, pension savings or any labor rights usually held by a regularly hired employee. On his way back home, Eduardo did not feel like celebrating. “As no opportunity had popped up for so long, I had to accept those terms. I needed to. There’s no better way to put it,” he says.