Trade Union Forum

III BRICS Trade Union Forum Declaration (Fortaleza, July 15,2014)


Fortaleza, Brazil, July 15, 2014

1. We, union leaders from the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Russian Federation, the Republic of India, the People's Republic of China and the Republic of South Africa, representing the workers of our nations, have met in Fortaleza, Brazil, 15 July 2014, while the Summit of Heads of State and Government of the BRICS countries also took place. We have organized the III BRICS Trade Union Forum in order to discuss and contribute with the efforts to consolidate this important intergovernmental mechanism.

2. We reaffirm here the principles in our Moscow Declaration (2012), in which we express our intention to:
- Work on the basis of the standards and principles of the International Labour Organization (ILO) in promoting Decent Work, boost employment, secure a universal social protection floor and promote the transition from the informal to the formal economy;
- Defend the legitimate rights of the working class within a progressive social dimension;
- Establish a dialogue and cooperation to promote peace, security and global sustainable development;
- Strengthen the protection for young people and women.

3. We recognize that the BRICS countries have played an active role as engines of the global economic growth, while seeking to promote social inclusion domestically. We consider of vital importance that the BRICS further advance public policies that favor the distribution of wealth; as well as food and energy security for our nations, and enhance joint efforts of BRICS countries in the studies and research on labor market.

4. The consolidation of the BRICS is a key element in the democratization of international relations and in the deepening of multipolar political arrangements which have been made in the post-World War II period. We consider the New Development Bank of the BRICS and the Contingency Reserve Agreement (CRA) as fundamental tools for the effective transformation of the current international economic architecture. These new institutions should aim to bring benefits to workers and promote sustainable development.

5. At the present time we continue in a deep economic crisis that highlights the importance of integrated action among BRICS inside the G20, reaffirming the e-Thekwini Declaration (2013), as a vital element not only to stop the financial casino, but also to create mechanisms for taxing financial transactions, large fortunes and tax havens. We cannot accept the failed austerity policies put in practice in Europe and the U.S. as the only solution to the crisis. Revenues would be used to expand investment in the productive sector and infrastructure; in education, science and technology; training and professional qualification, as a way to generate more jobs and better wages.

6. We appreciate the objectives contained in the BRICS Delhi Declaration (2012) regarding the need for accelerated growth and sustainable development, together with the promotion of food and energy security, poverty eradication, the fight against hunger and malnutrition, as well as measures for job creation needed to improve living standards. The promotion and inclusion of women and youth in the labor market, ensuring the protection of their labor rights, must be at the center of the BRICS employment policies.

7. The purpose of the economic development will be of little use if it is not well anchored in the environmental development, which presupposes respect for local communities, sustainable use of natural resources and the search for a clean energy matrix. By recognizing that climate change is one of the greatest challenges and threats to achieve sustainable development, the eThekwini Declaration (2013) points out that the BRICS may also be protagonists in the debates at the United Nations Climate Conference of the Parts (COPs).

8. We agree that our representation in the BRICS Trade Union Forum will be broad, pluralistic, democratic and inclusive of working men and women of our nations, coinciding with the principles and objectives of this Summit.

9. Union cooperation constitutes a vital part of extensive people-to-people exchange in the BRICS countries, and we urge the Heads of State and Governments to recognize our Forum –the BRICS Trade Union Forum - as an institutional space within the BRICS official structure. We express therefore our expectation to have the same treatment as the Business Council, having our conference as part of the official program of the Presidential Summits.

10. We believe that through the formalization of a labor space it will be possible to formulate propositions and commitments on relevant topics of the intergovernmental working agenda, in line with the Sanya Declaration (2011) regarding the dialogue around social protection and decent work.

Adopted by the BRICS Trade Union Forum participant Federations