The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Subway strike suspended in Sao Paulo ahead of Brazil's World Cup, stoppage may hit Rio

  • Print

SAO PAULO - With a subway strike put on hold, traffic in Brazil's biggest city returned to its normal, congested nature Tuesday, but there was no guarantee service would be on for Thursday's opening of the World Cup.

Subway workers in Rio de Janeiro, meanwhile, were holding an assembly to vote on whether they would strike to demand higher wages, threatening to disrupt transportation. By late Tuesday night there was no announcement of their decision.

Both situations are deeply worrying for World Cup organizers. They're counting on the subway systems to carry tens of thousands of fans to the games. The problem is a bigger worry for Sao Paulo, where the Itaquerao stadium is far from the hotel areas where most Cup tourists will stay.

Union workers in Sao Paulo suspended their strike for two days, but planned to vote again Wednesday to decide whether to renew it. If they do, the subway system would grind to a halt on Thursday just as Brazil's national soccer team faces Croatia in the Cup's opening match.

Sao Paulo's Metropolitan Transportation agency said it has a "Plan B" — yet refused to say exactly what that would entail.

"We will only give details if and when the workers go on strike again," an agency official said, insisting he couldn't give his name because he wasn't allowed to speak to the press about the issue.

A Sao Paulo labour court has fined the union $175,000 for the first four days of the strike and said it would add $220,000 for each additional day the work stoppage continued.

The subway strike was the latest unrest to hit Brazil in the run-up to the World Cup. Teachers remain on strike in Rio and routinely block streets with rallies. Police in several cities have gone on strike, but are back at work now.

There also has been a steady drumbeat of anti-government protests across Brazil blasting spending on the World Cup and demanding improvements in public services. The protests that began last year have diminished in size but not in frequency, and they also have disrupted traffic at times.

___

Associated Press writers Adriana Gomez Licon in Sao Paulo and Bradley Brooks in Rio de Janeiro contributed to this report.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.