The meeting was held in Sao Paulo on November 23-25, 2018.
Some hundreds of trade-unionists and activists attended the meeting.
The agenda was around a debate on the perspectives for Brazilian working class after ultra-conservative Jair Bolsonaro was elected, and the G20 meeting in Buenos Aires.
By CSP-Conlutas Media Workgroup
Five panelists representing different internal sections made presentations.
Atnagoras Lopes stated that Bolsonaro ultra-rightwing administration poses new challenges for labor.
On top of standing for labor and social rights, the struggle for democratic freedoms will be critical.
He reminded that the workers who voted for Bolsonaro will not give up their rights.
At last, he supported the unity in action with all labor federations and social movements to fight back Bolsonaro policies.
Antonio Gonçalves, the president of the Professors’ National Association, reminded that class collaboration governments are not able of carrying out neoliberal reforms anymore.
Therefore proto-fascist administrations are emerging everywhere, Latin America included.
The point is, however, that neoliberal reforms are not in the benefit of the working people as the Argentinian working class is experiencing with Macri administration.
Transforming essential public services as Education and Healthcare into commodities does not bring about any positive change for the workers.
Gonçalves stood for workers’ resistance and class independence in relation to the governments and the bosses.
Nancy Galvão, a leading teacher activist, said that Bolsonaro benefit from the economic hardness, poverty, unemployment, corruption and lack of a real leftwing alternative.
She stated that Latin American “progressive” governments are fading away due to the neoliberal policies they are carrying out. The dictatorship in Venezuela and Nicaragua are examples.
She believes Bolsonaro administration will strike the working class and their organizations but it will not change the character of the regime. And workers will fight back.
At last she stood for unity in action and more internal democracy inside the labor movement.
Gibran Jordão, a union leader among public employees, stated that Bolsonaro election deepened the negative situation the workers were already living since the impeachment of president Dilma Roussef what he calls a coup d’etat.
There is an increasing mood among the whole society against the leftwing and communism in general and the Workers’ Party in particular. There is a conservative turn.
For Gibran broader alliances for democratic rights are on the agenda including the controversial demand to set former president Lula da Silva free.
Irene Maestro, a leading member of the homeless organization People’s Struggle, stated that there has been a class war against the poor both in cities and in the countryside for many years.
No change was brought about in the last 15 years. There is a genocide against poor Black people and Brazil has the highest rate of LGBTs killings.
We need to address self-defense and workers’ power.
She opposed alliances with the Workers’ Party and other organizations which betrayed the working class. At the same time we need to strengthen the alliance between labor and people’s movements.
Optimistically she said that the worsening living conditions may bring about dynamic developments. “If they are bad, we are worse” is a motto among homeless activists.