CUT creates Institute of Cooperation

CUT officially launched the Institute of Cooperation on December. The Institute’s objectives, based on resolutions from the last CUT National Congress and guidelines from CUT’s Strategic Planning unit and Department of International Relations, include the promotion and coordination of projects in partnership with trade union bodies from other countries, in particular from Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa.

Artur Henrique, who was elected president of the Institute, said that the Institute’s actions will centre on the dissemination and implementation of trade union programmes and actions to defend a new development model which prioritises income distribution and values work through rights, wages and qualifications, the political engagement of the working class, the social vocation of economic enterprises and respect for the environment.

“We will defend these values and base our actions on freedom of association and the consolidation of collective bargaining and collective agreements. These will be the tools we use to promote trade union solidarity and increase the influence of workers. We must play our part in consolidating the progressive gains made in recent years on our continent and help expand them,” said Henrique.
Henrique and Felício set out the Institute’s objectives during a meeting of CUT’s Executive Committee

The Institute’s activities will focus on foreign and Brazilian multinationals and regional bilateral or multilateral projects underway in different countries.

To achieve its goals, the Institute will work closely with the Social Observatory Institute, the national sub-section of DIEESE [Inter-Trade Union Department of Statistics and Socio-Economic Studies] and the Agency for Solidary Development and together with longstanding partners such as research and academic teaching centres including CESIT [Centre for Studies on Trade Unions and Labour Economics] of the Economics Institute of Unicamp. Henrique, who is also the Finance Secretary of the Perseu Abramo Foundation and a board member of the Lula Institute, believes in the partnership with these two bodies.

João Felício, the Director of the Institute and CUT’s Secretary for International Relations, noted that CUT has been working within the international trade union arena to bring the movement as a whole to the left, overcoming resistance wherever it emerges. “We are experiencing a new period of international intervention by our union, and after having received so much support, we now have the chance to reciprocate this solidarity and confidence through partnerships with entities from all continents.”

Also present at the launch, which took place during the meeting of CUT’s National Executive in São Paulo, the general secretary of the CSA (Trade Union Confederation of the Americas), Victor Baez, said that CUT is already engaged in promoting advanced, contemporary politics, and that it has an important contribution to make in enhancing the activities of the international trade union movement. Baez also said that the political and economic process experienced by Brazil in the last 10 years serves as an example for the world at this time of economic crisis, and said this experience must be shared.

Rafael Freire, CSA Secretary for Economic Policy and Sustainable Development, said that trade union cooperation must go beyond the mere “sponsorship of seminars”. “In the CSA we have sought to construct policies and effective programmes,” he said, noting that the CUT Institute of Cooperation will follow the same path.

Artur Henrique said that the Institute’s work will include the participation of all CUT national secretariats, its State bodies and the confederations and federations of all branches, with the aim of creating policies by macro-sectors, a strategy defined by CUT for the coming years.
Directors of the Institute and guests during the signing of the founding deed
As well as Artur Henrique and João Felício, the directorate of the CUT Institute of Cooperation is composed of the following members: Maria de Godoy Faria, Vagner Freitas, Rosane Silva, Quintino Severo, Jandira Alves, and by the auditors Antonio Lisboa, Junéia Batista, Rosane Bertotti, Daniel Gaio, Graça Costa and Carmen Helena Foro.

Written by Isaías Dalle - CUT