CUT Brasil’s cooperation policy

The CUT’s supportive actions are based on its view that the working class is international and its struggle aims to create a fair and equal society. The assistance it provides through the CUT Institute of Cooperation (IC CUT), founded in 2012, aims to strengthen the political and trade union fight against poverty, social exclusion and discrimination in all its forms. It promotes development projects that guarantee the central importance of employment, generating jobs and wealth. Where necessary it also combats neoliberalism and the erosion of rights. Universal quality of life and citizenship are integral parts of democracy and freedom.

Our activities prioritise South-South relations, given that there are still many developing countries which are trying to establish a democratic and participatory state. While we only provide assistance using our own funds, the CUT’s work also involves a fundamental premise: projects are created jointly, based on the needs and priorities of each union and each country. We also fight to ensure the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC) earmarks more funds from its budget for social issues, including trade unions.

In terms of geographic and historical affinity, our cooperation projects prioritise Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa.

The following is a brief description of our current projects:


1- Cooperation with the CSA and its affiliates in Latin America and the Caribbean, bringing CUT Brasil’s experience to bear and seeking to strengthen the CSA, affiliated unions and workplace organisation.

2- Paraguay: CUT Autêntica. Launched in 2012, our assistance has focused on fostering the growth of the trade union movement in all regions of the country’s interior through trade union training and the creation of a Working Class Platform together with other unions. We helped finance the purchase of a vehicle in order to increase the CUT’s presence.

These objectives were achieved, allowing the trade union movement to grow stronger and more unified, organise a general strike against the neoliberal model implemented in that country and obtain a negotiated process with the government concerning the platform.

3- Chile: A project with the local CUT, launched in 2003, involves the creation of a national communications platform. This project was important because at a time when the Pineda government was preventing social demonstrations, whether by students or workers, CUT Chile needed to expand its dialogue with society. With the effective contribution of the trade union movement, the people of Chile elected a leftist front led by Michele Bachelet.

4- CUT Honduras and CST Nicaragua: a project developed in partnership with CSN Canada, ELA Basque Country and Alternatives, a Canadian NGO, in order to help improve organisation and mobilisation by workers. The main activities involve trade union training, communications (one of the great weaknesses of the trade union movement in Central America), the protection of the rights of women and young people and social security. It is important to note that Honduras experienced a coup d’état followed by a fraudulent electoral process, and that the position taken by CUT Honduras in defending workers’ interests against the neoliberal model has allowed it to grow stronger and organise widely supported demonstrations, in spite of persecution. In Nicaragua democracy continues to gain ground.

5- El Salvador: this project was developed in 2013 together with the CSA, sought to encourage unified activities between the various unions and form a platform of workers to allow qualified participation in the electoral process which, among other things, led to the re-election of the project committed to the working class.

6- Costa Rica: The project was developed in 2013 with the CSA aimed at strengthening the Banana and Associated Industries Workers’ Union (Sintracobal) and sought to create a branch of workers associated with production, industrialisation and marketing from all sectors connected with the banana industry.

7- Haiti: a project developed in partnership with the CSA and the CSI in order to seek unified action between the various unions to promote rights, review the employment code and social security and strengthen the participation of women and young people, among others.


1- Mozambique: A project with Assotsi (Association of Operators and Workers in the Informal Sector) affiliated to the OTM, in partnership with the Solidarity Center of AFL CIO, designed to strengthen the organisation, and expand union membership and its ability to negotiate with government authorities. Within six months Assotsi has already expanded its membership with 25,000 new members, as well as providing management training to its leaders and training for female members and young people in defending their rights. It has also addressed social security, an issue for negotiation with the government.

2- Mozambique: PANAF. This is a joint program with FGTB from Belgium, LO and TCO-Sweden. It aims to provide training for workers in their workplaces by establishing study groups to help them to develop their knowledge and capacity for organisation and representation. This project, which is already being carried out in French and English speaking countries with support from the CUT, will enable it to be expanded to include Portuguese-speaking countries, starting with OTM-Mozambique.

3- Cape Verde: The lack of union structures in a country made up of nine islands, with all the challenges this poses for communication and interaction between leaders, highlights the need for effective partnerships. Our project will provide assistance to the Training School, which needs to be restructured in order to improve its operations. In a second stage we will develop training projects in the various areas needed for union action.

4- Island of Gorée - Senegal: A project developed with CGIL Italy and unions from Senegal which aims to promote training for young people about racial issues (the Island of Gorée was the first place from where slave ships set sail), and in the medium term to establish a Memory Centre about slavery.

5- Angola: in 2012 and 2013 we worked together with LO from Norway to develop cooperation projects with UNTA to provide training on occupational safety.

Since the outset the CUT has received assistance from trade unions from many countries, particularly in Europe and North America, which has been crucial for its creation and development.

We still have partnerships with some of these union organisations: with DGB we carry out the CUT Multi programme, which creates international networks between the unions of multinational companies to promote collective negotiations on an international scale. We have a partnership with CGIL and CISL from Italy, to develop actions relating to immigrants. We have also started talks with the TUC in the United Kingdom to create a partnership focusing on sporting events.

In addition, our National Confederations and Institutes also develop cooperation projects in many countries in the Americas, Europe and Africa. We also operate at all levels internationally.

The goal of the CUT is to expand its cooperation, whether through bilateral or tripartite arrangements or with a range of groups as, we reiterate, the working class is international and its fight and its historic interests are the same: creating a fair and equal society.

Vagner Freitas - President

Antonio de Lisbon Amâncio Vale - Secretary of International Relations