Biden, Lula Launch Workers' Rights Pact

(MENAFN- AFP) President Joe Biden and his Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva unveiled a pact on workers' rights Wednesday, as the pro-union US leader grapples with a major auto employees' strike at home.

"The two largest democracies in the western hemisphere are standing up for human rights around the world," Biden said as he met Lula on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.

"That includes workers' rights, and I'm honored we're going to launch a new partnership for workers' rights."

The US-Brazil Partnership for Workers' Rights calls for ending forced and child labor and discrimination against women and LGBTQ people, and dealing with the effect on workers as economies transition to clean energy, US officials said.

Lula said that Brazil and the United States were "friends seeking a common objective: development and improving the lives of everyone."

Relations between the United States and Brazil have warmed since the return to power of veteran leftist Lula, who unseated right-wing president Jair Bolsonaro in elections last year.

Biden received Lula at the White House earlier this year.

During the visit both leaders portrayed themselves as defenders of democracy -- in Biden's case after the January 6, 2021 Capitol attack by supporters of former president Donald Trump, and Lula when a crowd loyal to Bolsonaro stormed institutions in Brasilia on January 8, 2023.

The workers' pact is also politically significant for Biden as the Democrat seeks to win reelection next year, most likely facing off again versus Republican Trump.

Biden, who said he led the "most pro-union administration in American history," is facing an unprecedented strike hitting all "Big Three" US automakers that threatens to harm the US economy.

Wearing a red tie in what White House officials said was a show of support for the car unions, Biden said that "whether it's the auto workers or any other union worker, record corporation profits should mean record contracts for union workers."



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