Global unions outraged as former Brazilian President Lula’s convoy is attacked
On Tuesday, former Brazilian president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s election campaign busses were hit by gunfire in the state of Paranà during his campaign tour. The attack follows a week of hostility by fascist groups against his convoy with no adequate response by the police.
UNI Global Union General Secretary Philip Jennings said, "This is a vivid and outrageous example of the closing down of democratic spaces within Brazil, reflecting a global trend towards the rise of the extreme right across Latin America, Europe and elsewhere. UNI Global Union condemns this attack on former President Lula as he carries out his legitimate campaign to be elected once again. The Brazilian authorities must act so that the people can exercise their right to cast their vote in free and fair elections and not be ruled by violence. UNI and the labour movement are committed to peace throughout the world and we will never accept violence in any form as the norm."
UNI Americas Regional Secretary, Marcio Monzane added, "We and our affiliates in Latin America and across the world stand in solidarity with former President Lula. We will not let violence and bigotry win, at a time when the future of Brazil and its working people are at stake."
Valter Sanches, IndustriALL Global Union General Secretary said “We call on the Brazilian authorities to investigate and punish the perpetrators of these criminal attacks and to ensure normalcy and peace in the exercise of the political process, so that Brazil can resume a democratic coexistence.”
Attacks on democracy are escalating in Brazil: ranging from the systematic sabotage of the presidential election in 2014 to the parliamentary coup d’état against President Dilma Rousseff in 2016. There have been attacks on social programs and the fundamental rights of workers. Brazil’s judiciary is seeking to prosecute former President Lula without any evidence, in relation to the corruption investigation into state-oil company Petrobras.
Global Unions defend former president Lula’s constitutional right to prove his innocence by appealing the convictions by the lower courts, as well as to uphold his constitutional right to free movement, to speak out freely and to run for the next presidential election.
The international trade union movement recognizes the important contribution, extending beyond Brazil, made by the former governments of President Lula in creating economic growth with social inclusion by creating employment and income for millions of Brazilians, combining national sovereignty and international solidarity.
The international union movement has strongly condemned the 2016 coup d'état, perpetrated on behalf of interest groups and resulting in the loss of national patrimony and serious deterioration of social and workers' rights.
Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) said, “We are outraged and extremely worried by the news that former President Lula's political convoy suffered a criminal attack. We stand in solidarity with former President Lula and the hundreds of thousands of people, who have participated in the various democratic and peaceful demonstrations in support of him throughout the country.”
Global Unions which include: UNI Global Union, the international Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), IndustriALL Global Union, The Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI), Education International (EI), IAEA Global Union, The international Federation of Journalists, The International Transport Federation (ITF), the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations (IUF), Public Services International (PSI), and the Trade Union Advisory Committee (TUAC) which represent over 200 million workers worldwide stand in full solidarity with former President Lula and the hundreds of thousands of people, who have participated in the various democratic and peaceful demonstrations in support of him throughout the country, especially in the State of Paranà.
The ITUC represents 207 million members of 331 affiliates in 163 countries and territories.