Blacks-only Trainee Program at Large Retailer Sparks Criticism in Brazil

Program sparked criticism on social networks; retailer employs 53% blacks and browns, and only 16% in leadership positions

São Paulo

Magazine Luiza's announcement on Friday (18) that it will develop a high-level training program exclusively for blacks sparked rage among some people who argued that the initiative would be illegal and racist.

The businesswoman Luiza Helena Trajano, president of the board of directors of Magazine Luiza, says that they already expected criticism, but says that the program has legal support.

Magazine Luiza shop in São Paulo (Foto: Rivaldo Gomes/Folhapress) - Folhapress

"We believe that people will enter legally, but we will fight, and we will not give up so easily," she said.

On Saturday (19), Labor judge Ana Luiza Fischer Teixeira de Souza Mendonça said on Twitter that the program was inadmissible. Bolsonarisitas federal deputies Carlos Jordy (PSL-SP) and Daniel Silveira (PSL-RJ) said the initiative would not have legal support.

"Discrimination in hiring due to skin color: inadmissible," wrote Mendonça, who is a judge at the TRT-3 (Regional Labor Court of Minas Gerais) and was a member of the drafting committee for the labor reform of the Michel Temer government (MDB).

Magazine Luiza currently has 53% of blacks and browns in its staff. But only 16% of them hold leadership positions.

According to the company, the trainee program launched this Friday is the first exclusive for blacks in Brazil.

The salary is R$ 6.6 thousand, with benefits and bonuses for hiring a salary.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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