The UAW's National Community Action Program (CAP) is underway. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, former president of Brazil and a former autoworker, made a tremendous impression on delegates. Here are excerpts from the UAW website:
"President Lula stressed to never forget where you came from. That’s what really hit home for me,” said Mike Green, president of UAW Local 652. “Everything he said makes so much sense, and it proves that you can come from humble beginnings and go on to achieve great things for working people.”
UAW President Bob King said of Lula: “He was the only leader in the world who rejected austerity economics [when he brought Brazil’s economy back to prosperity for all, not just the elite],” said King ... ‘Why aren’t we, here in the U.S., running more of our members for political office?’”
Lula was president of Brazil for two terms, from 2002 to 2010, coming from humble origins. His formal education ended in fourth grade when he had to work to help his family. He eventually began working as a lathe operator, later lost a finger on the job in an auto parts factory and didn’t get immediate medical attention, which helped spark his lifelong interest in improving the lives of workers through unions.
Jonathan Herrold, an assembler at John Deere, said, “We supported Lula when he was in jail for supporting workers’ rights, and it’s important that he does the same for us now, which he’s doing. I thought it was most interesting that he was a sheet metal worker and eventually became president of his country. You don’t think a guy on the shop floor can run the country someday. He did."
See the full text of the UAW article here.