Washington, D.C. – As Brazil's democracy comes under increased attack by conservative sectors, CWA expresses its solidarity with Brazilian workers and their organizations. We reject the attacks against the Workers Party's and former metalworkers' union leader Luis Inacio "Lula" da Silva.
Lula's two terms as President of Brazil were considered by all as landmarks for economic growth, with an emphasis on employment and income distribution. With rapid social improvements, the Brazilian economy grew to become the seventh largest in the world. There was a real increase of 53.6% in the minimum wage and more than 15 million new formal jobs were created, which lifted 40 million Brazilians out of extreme poverty. Now Lula is being attacked by lies and unsupported accusations by reactionary forces that want to return to power.
Brazilian workers and their national organization, the CUT, have been a source of inspiration and leadership for workers throughout the world. For CWA, the Brazilian bank workers confederation – CONTAF-CUT – and the Sao Paulo Bank Workers – SEEB-SP – have provided support, guidance and courage as we build a national bank workers organization in the United States and fight for justice in the richest industry in the world.
This is a crucial moment in the survival of democracy in Brazil. We stand with our Brazilian brothers and sisters as they fight to preserve the hard-won gains for democracy and justice for working people.