In 2003 the Lula government imposed a bill to reduce public employees pension rights. The CUT (Central Única dos Trabalhadores) did not support the spontaneous and growing protests of public employees, and divided the movement keeping private sector workers apart, preventing them from joining the struggle.
The “Conlutas”, which is the short name for “coordination of struggles” (Coordenação Nacional de Lutas), was born first as a to coordinate the already existing struggles against this regressive reform and to fight back the Pension’s Reform through uniting public workers unions who went on strike for 40 days, and other unions and activists that supported the strike. Among the main unions that formed Conlutas were the ANDES (University Professors National Union) and the Sindicato dos Metalúrgicos de São José dos Campos (Sao Jose dos Campos Metalworkers Union that represents the main GM plant in Brazil).
On March 13th and 14th 2004, the Conlutas was officially formed in a National Meeting in Luisiânia-GO which gathered 1800 participants from 181 unions and associations. The Conlutas was officialized at a later National Workers Congress in May of 2006 in Sumaré (Sao Paulo) with 2729 delegates elected in local assemblies plus 235 observes and 268 guests from 529 local unions.
On July 2008, the Conlutas Federation held its First National Congress in Betim (Mina Gerais) with 2814 delegates with 305 local unions officially affiliated and dozens of opposition caucus in other sectors, plus 70 local, regional and national social movements and associations and the presence of 108 student delegates from colleges and schools.
On 2010, the Conlutas and other organizations called the Working Class National Congress for June 2010 to build a merger with other labor and popular organizations. Unfortunately in the end of a 3,150-delegates congress, some organizations disagreed but others merged creating a new organization: CSP – Conlutas (Labor and Popular Federation – Conlutas), all under a common banner and a common program: the defense of the interests of the working class, its oppressed sectors and popular movements, against capitalist exploitation and all forms of oppression.
In many regards the CSP-Conlutas is a new kind of organization in Brazil, as it brings together with an independent and democratic method both labor federations and popular and anti-oppression organizations, under a common strategy to fight united and stand in solidarity with each other.