Background on Brazil’s labour movement

…unions and health
Even though the CUT stands for this ‘new trade unionism’ - a conflicting strategy towards management and a participative approach of their members - they also didn’t succeed to change the emphasis from the external labour market to the internal labour market and thus leaving the working conditions under the unique control of management. On top of this they also didn’t succeed in building real internal capacities of involvement to be able to confront and influence above-mentioned processes of lean production. In that sense also the most CUT unions generally lack an adequate strategy towards an effective bargaining strategy on working conditions, on new management policies and a strategy of building an active participation and involvement of their members.

In respect to health, the neglecting of addressing the internal labour market led to a union practice that cares only about ill workers, about compensation, so generally speaking about reparation instead of prevention. Unlike in the US and Europe where various networks of union initiatives on health workplace prevention (exchange on union education, union campaigns and strategies) exist, most unions in Brazil, especially outside the industrial centres (and even more in the rural sector), have only little knowledge about the extent of occupational diseases and how to prevent them in their sector. There is a lack of knowledge by both workers and union leaders about the issue. Even for workers health reps in the CIPA in these sectors there is little or no training at all by the unions to prepare them for their tasks.

Vida Viva

Education & exchange in Germany

What is Vida Viva about?

Who is involved in Vida Viva?

What have we done?

What can you do?

Do you want to read more?


Vida Viva in Brazil

Background on Brazil’s economy

…and the labour market

Background on stress, work and illness
…and gender
…in Brazil

Background on Brazil’s labour movement
… and industrial relations
… unions and health

Conclusion: unions, work and health

Vida Viva in Mozambique

Vida Viva in Germany


Expo - chemical worker

Choclate factory

Expo-agro workers

Leaflet December 2006

Leaflet January 2007

Leaflet February 2007

Introduction magazine
of Vida Viva

Brochure on work quality

Health & safety guide

Mapping guide English