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Work continues at Brazil World Cup stadium despite union's threat to strike after death

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SAO PAULO - Work remains underway at the World Cup stadium in the jungle city of Manaus despite a Brazilian union's threat to strike to protest a worker's death at the venue.

The strike did not happen Monday because leaders from several unions said they are trying to gather more workers to their movement.

Local World Cup organizers and the company in charge of the stadium's construction said the Arena da Amazonia is nearly 97 per cent completed, with only minor details keeping it from being inaugurated sometime this month.

A 55-year-old Portuguese man was killed in an accident on Friday while disassembling a crane that was used to install the stadium's roof, becoming the third worker to die at the venue in less than a year.

Union leader Cicero Custodio said workers want to protest the lack of proper security conditions at the site. He said workers also were upset that the company didn't declare a day of mourning after their colleague's death.

"We didn't have time to get everybody on board for a strike today (Monday)," Custodio told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "But we are making sure that it happens tomorrow (Tuesday), when all workers will refuse to get into the construction site."

Constructor Andrade Gutierrez and local officials in charge of the stadium say the construction site is safe.

The local government lamented the worker's death, but said the accident would not interfere in the stadium's completion.

After another death at the stadium in December, when a worker fell 115 feet (35 metres) while working on the stadium's roof, a local labour judge halted construction at the site for four days so authorities could inspect safety conditions. The first death in Manaus happened in March, when a man fell from a scaffold and hit his head.

Seven workers have died at World Cup venues so far. In late November, two workers were killed when a crane collapsed while hoisting a 500-ton piece of roofing at the stadium that will host the World Cup opener in Sao Paulo. In 2012, a worker died at the construction site of the stadium in the nation's capital, Brasilia.

The Arena da Amazonia is one of the five stadiums still under construction for the World Cup with about four months before the tournament's opener.

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Follow Tales Azzoni at http://twitter.com/tazzoni

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