The FUP was founded in 1994 following years of organising within Brazil’s oil giant Petrobras, which itself was formed in 1953. The union is proud of its independence - from the state, Petrobras’ management and political parties - and its deep rootedness to Brazil’s popular classes, their democratic demands, social movements and civil society organisations. It is a member of the Central Única dos Trabalhadores (CUT), Brazil’s largest trade union federation, representing 7.5 million workers, and also a member of the Progressive International.
FUP’s membership, which stands at over 100,000, spans workers, retirees, and pensioners in the Petrobras System as well as oil workers in private companies.FUP is at the forefront of social struggle in Brazil. Alongside its primary purpose of representing oil workers, the union engages in forceful defence of sovereignty and resistance to projects that are harmful to the Brazilian people. As such, FUP advances the rights of its members and the entire population, strengthening democracy and universalising citizenship.
Since the 2016 removal of President Dilma Rousseff from office, Brazil’s government has pursued a policy of revoking hard-won rights and engaging in many human rights violations. The Covid-19 pandemic intensified this regressive trend. The FUP and its unions have challenged this trajectory in court, through industrial action and supporting social campaigns.
It has more directly intervened to support people during the economic and health crisis by donating food, hygiene, and cleaning materials to workers' families across the country. Together with other segments of the working class and social organizations, FUP is fighting against the privatization of the Petrobras System and for reinforcing it as a public and state-owned company.
It sees a future for Petrobras that drives social, economic, scientific, and ecological development together with the Brazilian working people. At this critical juncture, with manifold social, economic and political threats, the federation seeks to build broad alliances of those committed to democracy and the transformation of society.
Brazil’s oil workers know their struggles are not unique and they are not alone in them. That’s why they have taken the step of joining the Progressive International to unite, organise and mobilise progressive forces around the world. Building on the FUP’s historical commitment to advancing democracy, sovereignty, labour and social rights, the federation will work with other members of the Progressive International to win a dignified life for all, in Brazil and all around the world.