Airport workers' strike has little impact on Brazilian airports

Aug. 1, 2013 at 2:58 PM

SAO PAULO, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- Striking airport workers in Brazil slowed traffic near airports, but little impact on takeoffs and landings around the country, aviation officials said.

The strikers want a 16 percent bump in pay and better benefits at a time Brazil's economy is languishing, MercoPress reported Thursday.

The strike began Wednesday as President Dilma Rousseff announced new investments to improve public transportation in Sao Paulo, Brazil's largest city. Earlier, she invited private sector investment in new terminals, which the airline workers see as threats to workers' rights.

The strike did not have a noticeable impact on flights in and out of the nation's airports, said Infraero, the government agency that runs Brazil's commercial airports.

Of 1,100 domestic flights throughout Brazil Wednesday,15 percent were delayed or canceled, Infraero said on its website. That figure is within normal operations, said an agency spokeswoman, and had been largely caused by inclement weather near an airport not affected by the strike.

Brazil has invited private sector involvement in improving its airports ahead of the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics.

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