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International meeting gathered Unions to discuss co-operativism and trade unionism in Latin America

4 April 2017

Representatives from Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Italy and Canada met this week, under the auspices of CICOPA, to discuss the challenges of co-operative movement and trade unions in Latin America.

On March 30 and 31, the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo hosted the Second Encounter of Trade Unions and Co-operatives in Latin America, a time of experience exchanges and debate on the situation of workers in the region and on the urgency to strengthen unity against the onslaught of neoliberalism.

The activity was organized by CICOPA Americas, part of Cooperatives of the Americas, that gathers working cooperatives throughout the region. Among the participating organizations are UNISOL Brasil (Central of Cooperatives and Solidarity Employments), UNICOPAS (National Union of Cooperative Solidarity Organizations), OCB (Brazilian Cooperatives Organization), CUT Brazil (Central Única de Trabajadores), CTA (Argentina Workers of Argentina), COOPERAR (Cooperative Confederation of the Argentine Republic), FCPU (Federation of Cooperatives of Production of Uruguay) and PIT / CNT Uruguay (Inter-union Plenary of Workers - National Convention of Workers), among others.

For Arildo Mota, president of CICOPA, this meeting was of great importance not only for the entities of the solidarity economy of Brazil, but for all of Latin America. "We want this meeting, which started at the MercoSur, can grow to all Latin America as a space for broad and frank debate we make as working class, from the world of trade unions and the cooperative world" said Mota to the Brazilian media RedeTVT

The meeting allowed the participants to continue the dialogue on the advances, limitations and challenges facing the sector in a context of threats and setbacks in workers’ rights. Another objective was to build guidelines for the next two years, giving continuity to the agenda set out at the First Meeting, held in Argentina in November 2016. An exclusive meeting was also organized for women, seeking to strengthen their role in the Solidarity social economy.