Brazilian unions seek innovative ways to organise informal workers

To adequately respond to the changing labour landscape in Brazil, six BWI-affiliated trade unions, representing construction, building materials and wood workers in various states of the country, met on 3 September to exchange ideas and strategise ways to organise workers in the informal sector. 

The meeting, which was organised in cooperation with BWI’s Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean and FES Brazil, is part of a pilot project to develop a comprehensive and more innovative trade union organising strategy among Brazilian informal workers to strengthen their integration to trade unions and broaden working class unity and solidarity. 

According to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), from 2012-2019, there has been a significant decline in trade union membership, with unions losing 3.8 million members. Many of these workers have since joined the ranks of informal labour, whose rights are less protected and ensured by the government and employers.