The U.S.-Brazil Partnership for Workers’ Rights was launched by the Presidents of the two countries, Joseph Biden and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and the ILO Director-General, during the UN General Assembly in New York, on 20 September. The event was also attended by trade union officials from the United States and Brazil.
The new partnership identifies five pivotal priority areas for action:
- Safeguarding workers’ rights, which includes fighting against forced labour, child labour and workers’ exploitation.
- Fostering safe and decent work by ensuring countries and companies are held accountable for the impact of their investments on workers’ health, wages and rights.
- Championing a worker-centric transition to clean energy, ensuring that the shift to cleaner technologies is equitable and benefits all members of the workforce.
- Ensuring new technologies like artificial intelligence and advanced platforms benefit workers, while safeguarding their rights.
- Tackling workplace discrimination and making sure no one is left behind, to create an inclusive and equitable work environment for all.
“Whether it’s your autoworkers or any other union worker, record corporation profits should mean record contracts for union workers. Today, I am proud to stand next to a group of leaders who feel the exact same way, as we launch our new Partnership for Workers’ Rights,” said Biden. “This announcement is also an invitation to every global leader and every labour organization to join us — to join us and commit to a better future — one where workers all across the nations are going to be treated with dignity and respect. Our economies and our nations will all be stronger because of it,” he added.
“This initiative will be taken forward by the U.S. President, by me, in all the international forum that we will participate in,” emphasized Lula da Silva. “Brazil will chair, next year, the G20, then afterwards, in 2025, the BRICS process. And then we’ll have COP30 in 2026 in the heart of the Amazon region. In all these forums I can reassure the workers and assure you all that we will be working and trying to build conditions so that all the rulers in the world will accept the protocol. Because all human beings — men or women, black or white — they have the right to decent work,” he said.
“The ILO has been working for more than 100 years to advance the cause of social justice and decent work,” said Houngbo. “Our unique tripartite governance structure gives workers, employers and governments equal status in our work. We have an unparalleled understanding of how decent work can build better lives, better economies, and better societies. This is why we unequivocally welcome this United States and Brazil Partnership for Workers’ Rights.”
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