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Lula underscores importance of labor unions in Brazil

Monday, July 24th 2023 - 10:32 UTC
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Lula insisted that before him and the Workers' Party boosted by the unions, a worker president was unthinkable Lula insisted that before him and the Workers' Party boosted by the unions, a worker president was unthinkable

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva Sunday recalled his origins as a labor union leader. During the inauguration of the ABC Metalworkers Union (SMABC) board of directors, the head of state addressed how this organization and others of its kind had helped create the Workers' Party (PT) which eventually led him to his office, “something, until then, impossible.”

Lula also praised SMABC's new leader Moisés Selerges Júnior as a name of weight in the articulations between employers and employees in the sector, which can generate speculation about the possibility of gaining projection in the political sphere.

The president attended the event marking the 64th anniversary of the SMABC and the inauguration of the new management, in São Bernardo do Campo. Also attending were the ministers of Agrarian Development and Family Agriculture, Paulo Teixeira, and of Human Rights and Citizenship, Silvio Almeida, in addition to First Lady Janja Lula da Silva, Agencia Brasil reported.

“It was always either intellectuals, bankers, or businessmen, but we are the first experience of working people. And we have the most successful experience in this country,” said Lula.

Highlighting Selerges' commitment, Lula stressed that he must not forget that collective mobilization “starts at the factory door.” During his speech, Lula also highlighted that it was his administration that provided better working conditions nationwide, extending labor rights to the most susceptible groups, such as domestic workers.

Selerges recalled that the resistance of the working class and social movements has been important in recent years: “It is time to regain democracy, to regain our rights,” he underlined.

Lula also declared that he will dedicate his remaining time in the Planalto Palace to improving the lives of Brazilians and that his commitment “is not with bankers”, but with the working class. The priorities, he added, must be the creation of jobs, the increase of wages, and the expansion of purchasing power. “And you noticed that the price of food is going down,” he noted.

“If we produce cars, we want cars. If we produce a computer, we want a computer. If we produce clothes, we want clothes,” he added, in reference to the right of workers to ascend socially and consume what they produce.

For Lula, another issue that requires attention is the remnants of Bolsonarism and, as a consequence, what he called the resumption of a civilized climate. “People don't have to like each other, they just have to respect each other,” he said.

Workers' Party (PT) Chairwoman Gleisi Hoffmann also mentioned the need to repeal measures that facilitated access to firearms in the country, which especially affects women. The parliamentarian has already signaled concern about the subject in recent days. The federal government has revised rules in this field, especially with regard to civilian guns, including collectors, shooters, and hunters, by the Security Action Plan (PAS), signed last Friday.

“It is the unions that organize workers, who fight for rights and know what is strategic for the country,” said Hoffmann, citing the criminalization of social movements under former President Jair Bolsonaro.

(Source: Agencia Brasil)

Categories: Politics, Brazil.

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