RIO DE JANEIRO, April 15 (UPI) -- Construction workers building Rio de Janeiro’s Olympic Park voted in favor of continuing their strike over better overtime pay, health plans, and a higher ticket allocation for the Olympics to be held in August 2016.
The workers’ strike, which began April 3, defies a court order to return to work. It is also a source of worry for the Olympics organizers, who are under international scrutiny for their ability to meet construction deadlines. In addition, Brazil is having trouble adhering to the timetable for building stadiums for soccer’s World Cup, which it will host in June 2014.
“We don’t know how long we’ll be on strike,” said Antonio Figueredo Souza, president of the Sintracost-Rio union, which consists of 2,500 workers construction workers.
There have been numerous delays in building Olympic venues: Guanabara Bay, site of the sailing competition, contains hazardous water pollution; work on the Olympic golf course has been delayed; and construction of a group of venues in Rio’s Deodoro area has yet to begin.
Inspectors of the International Olympic Committee have visited the city in recent weeks, and head inspector Nawai El Moutawakel noted the Olympics faces “challenging deadlines.”
IOC President Thomas Bach said Rio de Janeiro “doesn’t have a day to lose.”