CSP-Coluntas a federation that affiliates social movements

A  trade  union  federation  has  ushered  a  new  model  of  mobilising  and advancing workers’ interests.
Under the banner of CSP-Coluntas – a trade union pulled its affiliates (social movements) in its ranks to protect the working class a gainst the impact of neo-
liberal economic policies.
CSP – Coluntas means ‘Organisations that struggles’ has 2 million trade union members and millions of members organised under social movements.
The decision to work with social  movements  is  similar  to  that  of  Numsa’s  special  congress  decision  to  form  a United Front with social movements.
CSP-  Coluntas International  secretary,  Jose  Dirceu,  said  “We  want  to  give  social movements’ equal treatment to trade unions that have resources and rely on regular subscriptions.
He  said  the  struggles  in  the  workplace  and  within  communities  are recognised  as workers’ struggles in their trade union federation’s constitution. The Brazilian social movements and trade unions played a major role in defeating the brutal rule of the military government that took power through a coup (1964 to 1984).
During  this  time  the  social  forces  suffered heavy  causalities  through  assassinations, abductions, mass dismissals, torture, but the social movements
and trade unions forced the military government to accede to democratic rule. This period honed their struggle experience.
Occupations Struggles CSP-Coluntas supports occupations of vacant lands and buildings in rural and urban areas  by  the  homeless  unemployed and  workers.
There  was  a  major  occupation  of Pinheiriro  about  100  kilometres  from  Sao  Paulo  where workers  and  communities occupied an area of 1 million square meters. The struggle for Pinheiriro was supported by one of its major affiliate, the Metalworkers Union of San Jos Dos Campos.
The  Government  tried  in  vain  to  break  this  alliance  of workers  and community
organisations  by  invading  them  with  helicopters,  armoured  cars,  dogs  and  military police.  After  a  long fight the Government  relented  and handed  over  the  area  to the community.
Brazil’s communities’ struggles are similar to those of South Africans: evictions, water being diverted to big agro-processing farms, landlessness, homeless, high cost of living and many other ills.
Dirceu says   they too face a situation of trade unions defending the government at the expense of workers’ interests and  that  the present government is ruling in favour of the wealthy in Brazil.
They  are  currently  organising  protest  actions  the  Brazilian  government  for  investing R330 billion in the 2014 World Cup activities. CSP- Coluntas’ demands the government invest the same amount to poor communities.
Viva CSP- Coluntas Viva!
Hlokoza Motau is Numsa International officer