BY the Brazilian ABC Metalworkers’ Union
How was the communications strategy born?
The ABC metalworkers’ union is the protagonist in the social changes occurring in the recent history of Brazilian society. It is an active character in the fight against the military dictatorship, direct elections and the re-establishment of democracy in the country.
To confront the military dictatorship in the late 70s, ABC was born, called “New Unionism”: a union action that goes beyond the fight for better wages and work conditions and begins to reflect on broader issues of society.
During this period the strikes organized by the union had great support from those in sector. There were thousands of workers with crossed arms participating and supporting the union deliberations.
The Brazilian trade union law did not allow unions to enter the factories – only those who can do it through negotiation between workers and company. Therefore, at that time the trade union communicated with workers in two ways: the conferences and the newspaper “Tribuna Metalurgica ‘.
It turns out that the mainstream media in the hands of a few Brazilian families and accomplices of the military regime did everything to that society and the workers themselves, would became confused and do not have clarity about the events and position of the union.
In 1980, a newspaper said on national television that a strike had finished putting archives footages and causing deception amongst many workers towards the union. It was a lie!
The media, which always have been powerful force for union activity in the ABC Metalworkers, now take on an even greater importance. The metallurgical workers decided they would tell their own story, which would register their events and support social movements of their partners.
In Brazil, the social struggles have always been hidden, minimized or “demonised” by the mainstream media. And the conference deliberations of the ABC Metalworkers’ focused the efforts on a project that shows these struggles from another point of view.
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