USW local leaders and Next Gen activists joined industrial unions from our Brazilian partner, the Unified Workers' Central (CUT) in a Seminar on Youth and the Promotion of Racial Equality in Olinda, Brazil - part of an ongoing dialogue on racial equality between our unions. With similar struggles as we confront governments that threaten the interests of workers and their unions, there was much to share, compare and learn.
Participants made presentations on the political situation in both countries, and on the Genocide of Black Youth in Brazil and the Black Lives Matter movement in the USA. Presentations on Collective Bargaining and Clauses to Promote Equality in both countries that generated an in-depth discussion about ongoing and potential local union action to use our contract negotiations as an opportunity to combat racial discrimination.
The workshop showed that Brazilian and U.S. workers share many of the same issues and concerns: discrimination, political turmoil, erosion of labor laws and labor rights under attack, wage differences between women and men; blacks and whites, and sexism. And it’s equally clear that the USW is part of an international movement, with strong solidarity in difficult times.