Friday, April 28, 2017

Fighting the cuts in Brazil

 Brazilian trade unions backed by various social movements are striking against the relaxation of restrictions on outsourcing and temporary contracts. new anti-union laws and austerity cuts on pensions. It is the first nationwide general strike in 21 years.   35 million Brazilians didn't show up for work on Friday, more than one-third of the working population and many thousands took to the streets in anger Sao Paulo, Brazil's most populous city and financial center, was the worst affected.  All public transport networks were closed, bringing the city to a standstill. General Motors, Ford, Toyota and Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler AG all halted production.

  Meanwhile, police fired tear gas at protestors who had blocked off a highway.  Similar scenes were reported in Rio de Janeiro's state assembly and bus station. Transport services were also completely shut down in the capital Brasilia, Belo Horizonte and Curitiba.  Union officials said most workers at state-run oil producer Petrobras joined the strike

"We are demanding our rights, as workers, because the president of the country proposed a law for people to work more and live less, so you will only receive your pension when you die," said Edgar Fernandes, a dock worker who was protesting in Rio.

Brazil’s largest labour unions, like the Central Única dos Trabalhadores (CUT) and Força Sindical, are organizing the strike. Other groups who have joined in organizing the strike are Frente Brasil Popular and Povo Sem Medo. 

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