Monday, February 13, 2012

Update: Police Strike Ends in Rio de Janeiro

For the benefit of our readers, the strike by police and firefighters in Rio de Janeiro, that began on Friday (February 10) has ended, just days before the beginning of Carnival, an event that will bring tens of thousands of visitors to Rio during February 17-21.

Fernando Bandeira, president of Sinpol, one of the unions representing police, said officers and firefighters together decided to end the strike because "we don't want to harm our Rio, especially during Carnival." Nevertheless, he said labor grievances will be continued after the festivities.

COMMENT: As an example of how polarizing police and firefighter demands are, even after the state legislature approved a 39% wage hike for the two groups over the next two years, they contend that that was just half of the concessions they were seeking.

Dozens of striking police and union leaders in Rio were also arrested and remain jailed, largely because strikes are prohibited for first responders.

The lingering question is whether there will be new strikes prior to the events of the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016, both of which Rio de Janeiro will host.

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