Brazil has some of the largest labour unions in the world, and union members are a big part of President Lula da Silva’s political support base.
Lula began as a machine operator and rose through union ranks. As president, he has tried to incorporate labour’s goals into his government programme.
But, with the global economic crisis forcing major Brazilian companies to lay off thousands of workers, organised labour is now questioning Lula’s commitment.
Al Jazeera’s Gabriel Elizondo reports from Sao Paulo.