On 13 May 1888, Brazil was the last Latin American country to abolish slavery. About 15 percent of the population were slaves. The bakery worker and labour leader Joao de Mattos said: ‘in 1888 we achieved the biggest win of our unrelenting struggle, opening the way for the de facto enslaved, and we, the free enslaved, are still fighting.' Joao and his companions did so by founding an association in 1890, for the purpose of raising funds to buy bakeries for the workers, free from employers.
̃Marcelo Badaró Mattos, 'Experiences in Common: Slavery and "Freedom" in the Process of Rio de Janeiro's Working-Class Formation (1850-1910)' in IRSH 55 (2010) pp 193-213 is based on research into the process of working-class formation in Rio de Janeiro.