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Free Lula!


27 April, 2018Global unions and union leaders from more than 50 countries came together in Geneva today to stand in solidarity with former Brazilian President Lula, calling for his immediate release from jail and that he be allowed to run in the upcoming elections.

Addressing around 150 trade unionists from IndustriALL’s Executive Committee and participants from global unions, IndustriALL president Jörg Hofmann stressed the importance of showing solidarity and standing with Lula.

Lula has the right to an impartial review of his case. We call on the government of Brazil to immediately comply with international law and to protect the fundamental rights,

Hofmann said.

And very importantly, Lula must be allowed to run in the next presidential election.

Attacks on democracy are escalating in Brazil: these range from the systematic sabotage of the presidential election in 2014 to the parliamentary coup d’état against President Dilma Rousseff in 2016. There have been attacks on social programmes and the fundamental rights of workers.

Lula’s politics has helped millions of Brazilians to a better life and is the most popular politician in the country by a huge margin. The arbitrary arrest undermines democracy by denying the people of Brazil the right to choose who they want as President.

Lula is a champion of labour rights and an inspiration to other countries,

said IndustriALL general secretary Valter Sanches.

This attack on Lula is an attack on all workers who fight for their rights, it’s an attack on democracy and it is an attack on the Brazilian constitution.

After the demonstration, IndustriALL, together with global unions ITUC, Uni Global Union, PSI and IUF, handed over a letter to the Brazilian mission to the UN, demanding that the government of Brazil:

  • Immediately releases Lula until the appeals process has been completed in accordance with the Brazilian constitution
  • Holds an impartial review of Lula’s case by judiciary not connected to the Temer government
  • Allows Lula to run for President in this year’s election