facebook
twitter
search
search

Sao Paulo metro workers continue strike ahead of World Cup

Tensions flared Monday in Sao Paulo as metro workers continued their wage strike, prompting concern that the disruption to public transport could disrupt Thursday's World Cup opening match.
By JC Finley Follow @JC_Finley Contact the Author   |   June 9, 2014 at 10:39 AM

SAO PAULO, June 9 (UPI) -- With the World Cup mere days away, Brazilian metro workers have gone on strike in one of the world's most congested cities, demanding a pay raise.

Tensions flared Monday in Sao Paulo as the metro strike entered its fifth day. Police used tear gas to disperse a crowd of 300 demonstrators who had assembled around Ana Rosa station in central Sao Paulo.

The metro workers are seeking a 12.2 percent salary increase in response to the government's $15 billion expenditure on the soccer tournament. The expense has been drawn primarily from public funds, prompting anti-World Cup demonstrations. Protesters criticize the government for investing billions of dollars into a sporting event when the money should be put toward social projects, including housing and salary increases for public servants.

The government is attempting to force metro employees back to work by court order and threat of job loss. A metro spokesman said that as of Monday, 60 pink slips had been issued to staff reportedly involved in the strike.

On Sunday, metro union members voted to continue the strike indefinitely, despite the government's threats.

Continued disruption of the metro rail could impact Thursday's opening World Cup match between Brazil and Croatia.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
More than 80 percent of North Korean defectors are women, says report
Kenyan bishop warns Obama against pro-gay policy
Duma approves construction of $4 billion bridge to Crimea
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev seeking new trial for Boston Marathon bombing
Shark bites Camp Lejeune Marine on North Carolina coast