|Brazilian Trade Unionists Visit England.|
|Saturday, 18 February 2012 04:58|
Following meetings with trade unionists in Spain and Portugal, two delegates from the Brazilian trade union federation CSP-Conlutas visited England (Liverpool and London), Spain and Portugal in December to build concrete links between trade unionists in Brazil and Europe.
CSP Conlutas has 200 affiliated unions and popular organisations representing the homeless, Black groups, women’s groups and students and represents 3 million workers including teachers, civil servants, bank workers, university workers, General Motors and construction workers. Altino Prazeres is the President of the Metro Workers Union of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Dirceu Travesso was for many years a militant leader of a bank workers union and today is part of the executive leadership of CSP-Conlutas (http://cspconlutas.org.br/).
In Liverpool CSP-Conlutas met RMT, UCU and NUS leaders and members and addressed the Liverpool Trades council meeting where they received a standing ovation. In London they met Alex Gordon and members of the national executive of the RMT, including Bob Crow, and addressed a meeting of the Latin America Workers Association.
They also met with the chair of the Finsbury Park RMT branch of London underground workers and addressed a lobby outside the TUC headquarters against the government pension reforms.
Proposals were made to deepen the relations with Conlutas by exchanging information and to develop international solidarity for the workers’ struggle. Attendance to the international conference in Brazil was discussed, which will be followed later in the year by an international conference in France. A joint statement about the conference by CSP-Conlutas (Brazil) and Solidaires (Solidarity, France) union federation was printed in full in the December issue of Socialist Voice, a brief extract is reproduced here:
“Sharing our union experiences, learning from the strengths of all comrades, building up the unity beyond the borders of the states, and implementing the international workers’ solidarity...
These are our goals!
We have neither the intention nor the desire to declare the establishment of a new international organisation! We want to strengthen, expand and make more effective a militant union network which must be a democratic, independent, alternative and internationalist.
We want to build up this initiative step by step, together with all fighting trade unions, for whom the capitalist system is not the impenetrable organizational pattern for our society...”
The CSP-Conlutas congress will be held in Brazil April 27 to April 30 immediately followed by an international meeting May 1 to May 2. A second international conference will be held in France later in the year.