April 28, 2017

BRAZIL: Brazilian Unions, That Work For Government-Run Institutions, Led The Nation's First General Strike In Over Two Decades To Protest (RIOT) The President's Austerity Measures.

Reuters News
written by Brad Brooks and Anthony Boadle, Sao Paulo/Brasilia
Friday April 28, 2017

Brazilian unions on Friday led the nation's first general strike in over two decades to protest President Michel Temer's austerity measures, hitting public transport and closing schools, factories, banks and other businesses in every state.

Even so, analysts and government officials said the strike would have little impact on Temer's efforts to push economic reforms through Congress, which are widely expected to be approved given the president's continued support among legislators.

Police clashed with demonstrators in several cities, firing tear gas in efforts to clear roadways blocked by burning barricades. Protesters also obstructed the entrances of airports and metro stations.

Brazil's last general strike took place in 1996, in protests over privatizations and labor reforms under former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso.

"It is important for us to send a message to the government that the country is paying attention to what they are doing, taking away workers' rights," said Marco Clemente, head of the 4,000-strong radio and TV workers union in Brasilia as he led a picket line outside the headquarters of state broadcaster EBC.

Government spokesman Marcio de Freitas said the strike was strategically concentrated in public transportation so that even people who might want to get to work could not, and otherwise it appeared "weak."

He said there was "no turning back" from reforms.

Temer's efforts to pass pension and labor reforms have deeply angered many Brazilians. Temer has proposed a minimum age for retirement, which would compel many employees to work longer to receive a pension and reduce payouts in a country where many workers retire with full benefits in their 50s.
Marxist Socialist throughout history always end up devouring their host. Then they kick and scream, raise hell when the party's over and there's no one left to leech off of anymore. Take a look at the Greece economy, Venezuela economy, Cuban economy, etc. (emphasis mine)
The lower house of Congress approved a bill this week to weaken labor laws by relaxing restrictions on outsourcing and temporary contracts, further inflaming union resistance.

The government argues that economic reforms are needed to pull Brazil out of its worst recession on record, cut a huge budget deficit, reduce record unemployment and modernize the economy.


The strike had a large impact on auto production in Sao Paulo, which concentrates the bulk of the industry in Brazil.

General Motors Co (GM.N), Ford Motor Co (F.N), Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) and Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler AG (DAIGn.DE) all halted production, according to company officials, unions and market analysts. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCHA.MI), the No. 1 car seller Brazil, said it was operating normally.

Union officials said most workers at state-run oil producer Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PETR4.SA), known as Petrobras, joined the strike, but the company said the stoppage had no significant impact on output. Iron ore miner Vale SA (VALE5.SA) said the strike did not affect its operations.

The 24-hour strike started after midnight on Friday, ahead of a long weekend with Labor Day on Monday. The streets of several major cities showed noticeably less traffic, and Globo TV reported strikes hitting all but one of Brazil's 26 states and the Federal District.

The benchmark Bovespa stock index .BVSP was up nearly 1 percent while the nation's currency, the real BRBY BRL=, was little changed as investors assessed the impact of the strike.

In Brasilia, the capital, authorities boarded up windows of government buildings, fearing disturbances, which typically intensify after sundown.

Protests have frequently turned violent in the past four years amid political turmoil and corruption investigations that uncovered stunning levels of graft among politicians.

Nearly a third of Temer's Cabinet and key congressional allies came under investigation in the scandal this month, dragging approval of his government as low as 10 percent in a public survey last month.

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