Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva Wednesday praised his US colleague Joseph Biden for supporting a strike by autoworkers in Detroit, just a week after both heads of state signed an understanding regarding the role of labor unions.
Yesterday I had a moment of great happiness, I saw the president of the United States, Joe Biden, with the megaphone during a workers' strike; this, after we discussed a project of dignity in the world of work between Brazil and the United States, in New York, Lula said on X (formerly Twitter).
Lula, a former labor union leader himself, underlined that it was important that presidents are concerned with the situation of the world of labor. Biden defended the autoworkers who have been on strike for the past 13 days and insisted they deserved a significant wage increase.
Stand firm, Biden encouraged through a megaphone, as he walked along the picket line, wearing a United Auto Workers (UAW) baseball cap and exchanging warm greetings with the workers.
Last week, Lula and Biden met in New York and presented a joint project to strengthen unions, give workers more visibility in international forums, and fight labor precariousness.
There is no democracy without a strong union because the union is effectively the one who speaks for the worker to try to defend his rights, Lula said at the time. He also proposed a partnership with the United States for decent work after Biden, in his inauguration speech, said that American workers had been the true builders of the nation.
In their joint manifesto, Biden and Lula spoke in favor of putting workers at the center of political decisions.
Lula also pointed out that such an understanding heralded the rebirth of a new era in the relationship between Brazil and the United States, a relationship between equals, sovereigns, of common interest.
Biden replied that both countries have the obligation to lead the next generations towards a world with better opportunities.