2014 World Cup Protests: Fifth Day of Strike for Sao Paolo Metro Workers

Sao Paulo's traffic chaos 1 photo
While hundred of thousands wait for the first match to kick of, on Thursday, the 2014 World Cup is not that good news for some of the Brazilians. The Government spending around $14 billion (EUR 10,3 billion) on preparations made some of the country’s citizens disagree with the way the authorities handle the money. Besides several demonstrations taking place the past months, today's fifth of Sao Paolo metro workers strike already paralyzed the city.
The soccer event that will bring around half of million of visitors to Brazil is at the same time creating a lot of discontent around the people who consider way too much money were spent in the infrastructure and the 12 stadiums rebuild or renovated for the event. Besides all the protests, it would seem the Government has to face bigger issues nowadays.

Even after a court declared the strike illegal, Sao Paulo’s metro workers voted to keep striking for the fifth day. Meanwhile the protest affected millions of people and created traffic chaos in the city. And considering the fact that the first football match is only days away, pressure builds up as the authorities can’t seem to find a way to solve the problem.

On the other hand, the workers will not accept the Government’s offer, which is 8.7 percent pay rise, and say will keep staying off work until they get the 12 percent they've asked for. “The (metro workers’) union sent an official request to President Dilma Rousseff asking her to help the category reopen talks with the (Sao Paulo) state government,” which controls the subway system, the union said in a note on Sunday.

Considering a court on Sunday set a 500,000 Brazilian reals penalty ($223,000/ EUR164,000) for each day they stay off work from Monday, authorities expected the strike to end today. The thing is, the strike already made some problems to several FIFA officials in over two hours of traffic as they arrived for the pre-World Cup starting day conference.

Hard to say how the Brazilian government will decide to react, but it’s already a fact that a lot of people are frustrated with all the broken promises and the ballooning cost of new World Cup stadiums. Only last Friday, police used tear gas to break up a demonstration blocking access to one metro station. Moreover, last year, over a million Brazilians were taking the streets during a warm-up tournament.

News via BBC
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