Tags: Brazil | politics | strike | fbl | WC | 2014

Brazil Police, Strikers Clash in World Cup Host City

Friday, 06 Jun 2014 05:11 PM

Police clashed with striking subway workers in Sao Paulo on Friday while 3,000 people protested government policies, causing traffic chaos six days before Brazil's mega-city hosts the first World Cup game.

The separate demonstrations raised fears of more unrest when Brazil and Croatia play the first game in the business hub of 20 million people on June 12.

Strikers blocked a subway after commuters tried to enter it, with torrential rain adding to the traffic misery.

Across town, police officers estimated 3,000 people blocked the street in front of the Central Bank in a peaceful protest organized by the Force Union against the economic policies of leftist President Dilma Rousseff.

"Our problem is not with the national team. We will cheer for them. But on October 5 we will send Dilma Rousseff to hell," said union leader Paulo Pereira da Silva, referring to the upcoming presidential election.

The protests came as Brazil's national team was in town to play its last friendly against Serbia in Sao Paulo's Morumbi stadium.

But the first World Cup game will be played in the city's new Corinthians Arena, which has yet to receive safety clearance to operate at full capacity, highlighting Brazil's struggle to be ready for the World Cup.

And officials are hard-pressed to resolve the metro strike, because the subway will be the main link to the arena for legions of fans.

Workers went on strike early Thursday after negotiations on a salary increase fell through. They rejected an offer of 8.7 percent, insisting on at least 10 percent.

The traffic mayhem has stranded the 4.5 million passengers who use the subway system daily in the sprawling city, while bumper-to-bumper traffic stretched for up to 155 miles.

 

 

It was the latest strike to hit Brazil, where bus drivers, teachers and police have staged walk-outs in other cities in recent months to demand better wages.

The chaos in Sao Paulo is the sort Brazilian officials and world football body FIFA want to avoid following the violent protests that marred last year's Confederations Cup, a World Cup dress rehearsal.

It was in Sao Paulo that mass protests erupted exactly a year ago as citizens took to the streets to voice anger at rising public transport fares.

The unrest ballooned into nationwide demonstrations against the more than $11 billion being spent on the World Cup, with more than one million people taking to the streets to demand money for hospitals and schools.

 

 

© AFP 2017

 
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Police clashed with striking subway workers in Sao Paulo on Friday while 3,000 people protested government policies, causing traffic chaos six days before Brazil's mega-city hosts the first World Cup game.
Brazil, politics, strike, fbl, WC, 2014
407
2014-11-06
Friday, 06 Jun 2014 05:11 PM
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