April 6 (UPI) -- Brazil's Supreme Federal Court, or STF, ruled it unconstitutional for federal and civil police, as well as all other public officials directly involved public security, to strike.
Though police strikes are not rare in Brazil, the STF's ruling comes after the high-profile police union strike in Vitória in which more than 100 people died during a crime spree in February. The Brazilian government deployed hundreds of security forces to Vitória in the Espírito Santo state during the three-week strike.
Members of Brazil's military police were previously banned from stopping operations and face charges of rebellion if they strike, which is one of the reasons why the STF ruled all other officials involved with security should fall under the same rules.
"The thesis approved by the STF for purposes of general repercussion states that ... the exercise of the right to strike, in any form or modality, is forbidden to civilian police officers and all civil servants who act directly in the area of public security," the STF said in its 7-3 ruling. "The services and activities carried out by civilian police, including because they are analogous to that of the military police, must be preserved and practiced in their totality, and the right to strike is not possible."
Those who oppose the STF's ruling argue that without the right to strike, the civil servants in charge of security are left to the will of the ruling government without other constitutional rights in their defense.
Those who agree with the ruling said the police serves as the armed security force of a state, just as the Brazilian armed forces serves as the armed security force of the country.
Justice Alexandre de Moraes said that while there are parallels between some private and public sectors, such as in education and health, "there is no private public security."