Second General Strike against President Temer’s Reforms

teleSUR | June 29, 2017

Members of Brazil

Members of Brazil’s Homeless Workers Movement (MTST) occupy the entrance of Congonhas Airport in the general strike in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on June 30, 2017. | Photo: Reuters

Hundreds of people have been blocking main thoroughfares leading to Brazil’s largest cities in the second general strike this year against President Michel Temer’s labor and social security reform bills.

Demonstrations have been reported around the country, as protesters brought public transportation to a halt.

In Brazil’s capital, Brasilia, bus companies decided to keep their vehicles off the roads, leaving thousands of passengers stranded.

While in Belo Horizonte, metro workers have come out on strike, despite the threat of heavy fines.

Protesters also blocked one of the main highways leading into Rio de Janeiro.

But the city’s public transportation continued to operate normally during the morning rush hours.

In São Paulo, bus and metro services companies are not on strike but workers and residents have been encouraged to attend the demonstrations.

Activists also blocked the main road leading to São Paulo’s International Airport and marched through the city’s domestic terminal chanting “Temer Out”.

Demonstrations are also being held in Salvador, Curitiba, Porto Alegre, Natal and Goiania, according to state’s military police forces.

The general strike has been organized by the Central Worker’s Union, Popular Brasil, Fearless People, and a host of other social movements and worker’s unions.

But the turnout is so far said to be smaller than in a nationwide strike two months ago.

The strike has also had a limited impact at oil refineries but did not effect exploration and production, refining and logistics activities at state-controlled oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA accoding to company executives.

While the focus of today’s action is Temer’s unpopular reforms, the overwhelming majority of Brazilians, 93 percent according to the latest Ipsos poll, also reject his presidency.

The reform bill seeks to remove many of the rights and protections which Brazilian workers have enjoyed for three-quarters of a century, since the time of President Getulio Vargas.

The reforms propose allowing employers to reduce workers’ salaries while increasing their hours and reducing compensation for employer abuse.

The bill has already been approved by the lower house of Congress and looks set to pass the Senate shortly.

Unions also criticize Temer’s pension overhaul proposal as it would make Brazilians work for more years before retiring.



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