Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva Wednesday warned his US colleague Joseph Biden in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations 78th General Assembly that democracy in Argentina was in danger as extremist sectors were gaining ground.
The denial of politics makes these groups occupy spaces as it has already happened in Brazil, as it is happening in Argentina and in other countries, Lula insisted.
He also highlighted that when he defeated Jair Bolsonaro last year at the polls, hope overcame fear.
Lula seemed to be referring to Congressman Javier Milei of La Libertad Avanza (LLA), whom he did not mention, Télam explained.
During their meeting, Lula and Biden launched a partnership to promote decent work and signed a protocol to stand for the workers' rights, Agencia Brasil reported. The initiative aims to combat precarious work, with trade unions as a support base.
We don't just want one class to do well, we want the poor to have the opportunity to move up in life. The rich don't pay enough tax. That vision is driven by a strong labor force. I'm proud that my administration has been characterized as the most pro-union in US history, said Biden in his speech launching the initiative.
The Partnership for Workers' Rights has as its main guidelines the protection of labor rights; the promotion of decent work in public and private enterprises; the fight against discrimination in the workplace; a worker-centered approach in the transition to clean energy; and the use of technology and the digital transition in favor of decent work.
In his speech, Lula praised the historic nature of the partnership and highlighted the current challenges to promoting decent work on the planet, after a decade of neoliberalism, an economic regime of intense exploitation of workers.
The balance is that we have 2 billion workers in the informal sector, according to the ILO [International Labor Organization]. We have 240 million workers who, even if they work, live on less than US$ 1.90 a day. It is unacceptable that women, ethnic minorities, and LGBTQIA+ people are discriminated against in the job market, the South American leader said.
Lula also advocated strengthening the role of trade unions. Anyone who believes that a weak union will make the entrepreneur earn more, that the country will be better off, is mistaken. There is no democracy without a strong union. Because the union effectively speaks for the worker in trying to defend their rights, he added.
According to Biden, workers will be the main agents in the process of energy and technological transformation that the planet will have to face in the coming years.
We know that our progress depends on our workers. They will drive the green energy transition, they will secure the value chain and build the infrastructure to keep our economy strong, said Biden.
Both presidents pledged to push for other countries to join the Partnership for Workers' Rights, and to try to reverse the existing situation of exploitation. In all these international forums, we will be working and trying to create the conditions for all governments to accept a protocol like the one we are signing here, said Lula.
The two leaders also want to establish an agenda focused on increasing the importance of workers in multilateral institutions such as the G20, COP 28, and COP 30.
Biden spoke of working together with Brazil to tackle the climate crisis, mobilizing hundreds of millions of dollars to preserve the Amazon and Latin America's crucial ecosystems.
We will work together in the partnership of Atlantic cooperation, promoting inclusive economic growth. The two largest democracies in the Western Hemisphere are defending human rights, in the hemisphere and in the world, including workers' rights, said Biden.
Lula said he needed to present proposals and ensure quality job opportunities, especially for young people, as a way of awakening hope in the society that lives on work in the world.
I've never seen an American president speak so much and so well of workers as you have. This was endorsed by the American trade unions. This is a perfect combination, because I come from the world of work, and I think that work is very precarious, wages are very degraded, more and more workers work more and earn less, said Lula.