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Brazilian Trade Unions

Last modified: 2010-10-22 by ian macdonald
Keywords: trade unions | labor unions | unions |
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About Brazilian Trade Unions

Brazilian labor organization from the time of the Vargas dictatorship (beginning in 1930) until the democratic reforms of the 1980s was dominated by state-controlled syndicalist confederations on the Italian fascist model, with a confederation for each segment of labor. With liberalization, the various confederations headed off in different political direction and banded into several supra-confederations that are equivalent to national trade union groupings in other countries. The two biggest of these are the Central Única dos Trabalhadores (Sole Center for the Workers) and the Confederação Geral dos Trabalhadores (General Confederation of Workers).
Joseph McMillan, 9 April 2003

CUT - Central Única dos Trabalhadores

Sole Center for the Workers

Sole Center for the Workers (Brazil) image by Joseph McMillan

The CUT is the largest grouping, founded in 1983 as the first nation-wide group to break with the syndicalist approach. The CUT is socialist in orientation and has close ties to the Workers Party (PT). The flag is a standard, somewhat boring left-wing design, red with the party initials in white. The full name of the party sometimes appears on either the lower edge or along the fly. It can be seen in photographs on the CUT website.
Joseph McMillan, 9 April 2003

CGT - Confederação Geral dos Trabalhadores

General Confederation of Workers

General Confederation of Workers (Brazil) image by Joseph McMillan

The second largest grouping, founded in 1986. The CGT is allied with the center-left Party of the Brazilian Democratic Movement (PMDB) and is a member of various international "free" or "liberal" (i.e., non-socialist) labor organizations such as the CIDSL and ORIT. Its flag is white with the party initials emblazoned in red letters across a yellow map of Brazil on a green globe, with the full name and affiliations of the CGT across the bottom of the flag in black. Photos can be seen at the CGT website.
Joseph McMillan, 9 April 2003