U.S. President Joe Biden and Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (pictured in February) on Wednesday launched the Partnership for Workers' Rights, the first joint U.S.-Brazil global initiative to advance workers’ rights around the world. The two leaders announced the initiative during a meeting Wednesday in New York. File Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI . | License Photo
Sept. 20 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden and Brazilian President Luis Inácio Lula da Silva launched the Partnership for Workers' Rights, the first joint U.S.-Brazil global initiative to advance workers' rights around the world, during a meeting Wednesday in New York.
Presidents Biden and Lula announced the Partnership for Workers' Rights, at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, following years of collaboration to advance workers' rights through bilateral labor dialogues. The initiative also promotes racial equality, protects the environment, tackles the climate crisis and strengthens democracy with the goal of getting more world leaders on board.
"The two largest democracies in the Western Hemisphere are standing up for human rights around the world and in the hemisphere. That includes workers' rights. And I'm honored we're going to launch a new Partnership for Workers' Rights," Biden said Wednesday, before the two leaders went into their meeting in New York City.
The initiative was launched Wednesday as the United Auto Workers union is on strike against the Big Three automakers, as both sides failed to negotiate a new contract.
"Whether it's your autoworkers or any other union worker, record corporation profits should mean record contracts for union workers," Biden added, referring to the auto workers' strike.
"I am happy to share with the President Joe Biden this partnership for the rights of workers," Lula wrote in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.
"We share the vision that economic growth is achieved through public and private investments and policies that guarantee good wages, good working conditions and dignity for those who work," Brazil's president added.
The initiative is a "work plan so that we can offer to our youth, to our people, perspectives of a decent job, of a more skilled and qualified work -- trying to benefit from the climate energy transition -- the energy transition, try to take advantage of the AI," Lula said. "It is necessary that we should present a concrete proposal to arouse hope in civil society that lives as working families."
Lula credited Biden with the joint proposal that will be presented to other world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly and at the G20.
"I believe this initiative is very important for Brazil. And I believe it's also important for the U.S., but it's also important for the rest of the world," Lula added.
The Partnership for Workers' Rights has five key goals. The first would protect workers' rights.
"That means ending forced labor, ending child labor, ending worker exploitation, which is far -- is far too common around the world," Biden said.
The second goal promotes safe and decent work, while holding companies accountable for their "workers' health, workers' wages and workers' rights."
The third goal of the initiative advances a worker-centered clean energy transition.
"When I think of climate change, I think of jobs. Jobs," Biden said, while adding that he wants to "ramp up production of technologies like solar and smart grids."
The fourth goal would harness technology, such as artificial intelligence, to "work for working people."
And the fifth goal tackles workplace discrimination to ensure greater work equality.
"Supporting our workers is about making sure no one -- no one is left behind," Biden said.
While the initiative is a partnership between the United States and Brazil, both leaders invited other world leaders to join them.
"This initiative, President Biden, will be taken forward by the U.S. president, by me, in all the international forums that we will participate," Lula said.
"In all these forums, I can reassure the workers and assure you all that we will be working and trying to build conditions so that all the rulers in the world will accept the protocol," Brazil's president added.
"Because all human beings -- men or women, Black or White -- they have the right to decent work."