Saturday, May 17, 2014

World Cup Concerns " strike " Brazil May 17 , 2014 -- On the eve of the World Cup and in an election year, Dilma Rousseff faces another wave of public worker strikes. The strike could involve as many as 500 thousand civil servants from airport security to border patrols, affecting the mood at the presidential palace........Note as of May 16 th , strikes by police and teacher underway - Ongoing work stoppages by police and teachers and the threat of a nationwide strike by federal police also raised fears of chaos with just four weeks to go before the Cup kicks off. A total of 10,000 people took to the streets in Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Manaus, Porto Alegre, Rio and Sao Paulo, according to police. In business hub Sao Paulo, about 5,000 members of the Homeless Workers’ Movement (MTST) set fire to car tires and marched to the Corinthians Arena, which will host the opening match between Brazil and Croatia on June 12. Protesters also surrounded buses full of passengers and smashed the glass of vehicles at a car dealership that is an official FIFA sponsor. Police used teargas against the masked demonstrators, dispersing the march into small groups.

http://www1.folha.uol.com.br/internacional/en/sports/worldcup/2014/05/1454128-on-eve-of-world-cup-dilma-faces-strike-threat-from-500-thousand-public-servants.shtml


On Eve of World Cup Dilma Faces Strike Threat From 500 Thousand Public Servants

05/14/2014 - 08H38
ADVERTISING
TAI NALON
FLÁVIA FOREQUE
FROM BRASILIA
On the eve of the World Cup and in an election year, Dilma Rousseff faces another wave of public worker strikes.
The strike could involve as many as 500 thousand civil servants from airport security to border patrols, affecting the mood at the presidential palace.
Generally speaking, public servants are asking for salary adjustments, clearer career development policies, retirement benefits and a taste of the salary agreements signed in 2012.
On Tuesday, consulate employees sat with their arms crossed and the strike is set to continue on Wednesday. According to the ministry of Foreign Affairs it affected nine offices including New York and Paris, as well as departments issuing visa and birth certificates.
Last week a Federal administration Strike was set for June 10, two days before the World Cup launch.
The Workers Confederation at the Federal Administration which represents a large part of those civil servants is also planning events in the host cities on June 12.
Federal Police officers, finger print takers and clerks are also threatening industrial action during the World Cup itself.
Labour unions are taking advantage of the delicate political scenario, Dilma´s crisis in popularity and the pre World Cup tension to put pressure on the Executive.
"If the government continues to be inflexible it will be seen as not wanting to negotiate with workers. That will have an impact [on the election]", said Gibran Jordão, General Coordinator for the Federation of Labour Union Workers of Brazil´s Public Universities that has been striking for almost two months.
The law forbids pay increases in election years. But in 2006, Lula did allow adjustments in some sectors. Dilma is now suffering the consequences of not having touched the regulations on federal workers right to strike since 2012.
The decision would have established clear parameters to ensure full functioning of activities during the World Cup.
The proposal has been sitting at the interministerial table since the last big strike two years ago. This means that it is unclear how many public servants would have to work during the strike in the upcoming weeks.
It is also unclear which public activities are considered essential since the 7.783 law regulates strikes in sectors largely linked to the private sector.
Translated by MILLI LEGRAIN





http://www.arabtimesonline.com/NewsDetails/tabid/96/smid/414/ArticleID/206117/reftab/36/t/Protests-strikes-hit-Brazil-four-weeks-from-World-Cup/Default.aspx




People Gather During A Protest Against The Upcoming FIFA Tournament In Rio De Janeiro On May 15. Brazil Faced A Test Of Its Security Preparations For The World Cup On Thursday As Demonstrators Disgusted At The Tournament’s Price Tag Called Widespread Protests.
Protests, Strikes Hit Brazil Four Weeks From World CupFBI Aiding Brazilian Police In WC Challenge
SAO PAULO, May 16, (AFP): Brazil faced a test of its security preparations for the World Cup on Thursday as demonstrators aghast at the cost of the event joined protests and strikes in several major cities.

Ongoing work stoppages by police and teachers and the threat of a nationwide strike by federal police also raised fears of chaos with just four weeks to go before the Cup kicks off.

A total of 10,000 people took to the streets in Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Manaus, Porto Alegre, Rio and Sao Paulo, according to police.

In business hub Sao Paulo, about 5,000 members of the Homeless Workers’ Movement (MTST) set fire to car tires and marched to the Corinthians Arena, which will host the opening match between Brazil and Croatia on June 12.

Protesters also surrounded buses full of passengers and smashed the glass of vehicles at a car dealership that is an official FIFA sponsor.

Police used teargas against the masked demonstrators, dispersing the march into small groups.

At least 20 protesters were arrested in Sao Paulo, according to police. Local media said at least two photographers suffered minor injuries.

In both Rio and the capital Brasilia, police used pepper spray to disperse small groups as the major protests winded down.
In the northeastern city of Recife, youths earlier took advantage of a partial strike by military police to loot stores and go on the rampage. A total of 170 people were arrested there over two days.

After blocking off several streets, Sao Paulo protesters held a rally about 300 meters (yards) from the stadium as they slammed a “World Cup without the people.”

Former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, at the forefront of efforts to win the country’s hosting rights seven years ago, criticized the “virulent” protests.

Many protesters vented their ire against world football body FIFA, viewed by many as only concerned with its own interests.
“FIFA go home to Switzerland,” “total tax exemption for FIFA and (Cup) sponsors,” “Cup of disgrace” and “Hey, FIFA, pay my fare” read some of the banners.

In Rio, one masked protester surrounded by hooded black bloc radicals ostensibly burned a World Cup stickers book while marchers bore banners reading “Money for the Cup — none for salaries.”

Carlos Serrano, 32, told AFP: “I love soccer but beyond that there are other more important problems — the right to transport, health, education.”

Pedro Amarildo, 50, agreed.

“At first we thought it (the Cup) would benefit the people but it’s not turned out that way and that is why the people are unhappy,” he said in the capital Brasilia.

Back in Sao Paulo, MTST leader Guilherme Boulos threatened new protests during the World Cup if Brazil’s leaders do not address the demands of people such as the 1,500 families who have occupied a plot of land near the stadium.

Calling for public money to be spent on affordable housing instead of on stadiums, the families have baptized their new slum the “People’s Cup.”

“The clock is ticking: they have 28 days to resolve not only the People’s Cup but all the occupations that are fighting this. If it’s not resolved, there will be problems,” Boulos told journalists.

Brazil has spent more than $11 billion to organize the World Cup, money protesters say could have been better spent on areas such as transport, education, housing and health care.

The protests have shrunk in numbers since they embarrassed Brazil’s leaders last year by disrupting the Confederations Cup, a World Cup warmup tournament, but have also grown more radical.

Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo said there was “no reason for any panic” and denied the protests and strikes had anything to do with the World Cup.

Teachers, metalworkers and metro employees held separate protests in Sao Paulo.

Demonstrators blocked some of the main roads around the city and caused traffic jams of up to 150 kms (90 miles), according to transport officials.

Protest movements issued calls on social media for some 50 demonstrations in at least 10 of the 12 World Cup host cities.

Adding to the concern was a move by federal police to consider a nationwide strike during the World Cup. Federal police officers oversee border security and immigration services and the strike threat comes with an estimated 600,000 foreign fans about to descend on the country.

Meanwhile, Brazilian police compared notes with US law enforcement officers here Thursday as they geared up for a mammoth security operation at next month’s World Cup.

With fresh protests against the tournament rippling across Brazil, a gun-toting shock battalion of Rio military police held a mock crowd control drill complete with helicopter and fake tear gas.

Military police Colonel Andre Vidal said input for US advisers had been useful as Brazil prepares to drape a 170,000-strong World Cup security blanket across the June 12-July 13 tournament.

“We will not be changing our modus operandi for the World Cup,” Vidal stressed, while adding information-sharing was a useful means of determining “how to act in the best way possible” during the World Cup.

“This is an exchange of experiences to learn from different countries,” said Vidal. The Brazilians have also studied riot policing techniques in European countries including Spain and Germany.

Vidal reiterated that peaceful protests against the cost of the World Cup would be tolerated provided they did erupt into violence.
“Demonstrations are permitted in Brazil, but what is not permitted is civil disturbances,” the colonel told reporters in Rio.

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation agents present declined to comment.

In March, the Brazilians oversaw a week-long training session with FBI agents in the city of Belo Horizonte, covering topics such as organized crime, peacekeeping techniques and respecting marchers’ human rights.

Brazil’s branch of Amnesty International this week expressed concern that a planned crackdown on protests may comprise human rights such as freedom of expression.

“Protesting is not a crime, it is a human right,” said Amnesty’s Brazil director Atila Roque.

The Brazilian senate is due to vote on proposals to pass a law making public “disorder” a crime.

But Amnesty fears the move could criminalize people simply attending a protest.





Looters hit Brazil's shops as police go on strike

Looters hit Brazil's shops as police go on strike

Citizens of Brazilian city of Recife,Pernambuco state, stole from dozens of shops and delivery vans. Local police have been striking since Tuesday, demanding that the government increases their salaries. The military police of the state is trying to keep the peace in the city.

Numerous shops have been looted for the past several days, because local police went on strike. They demand that the government increases their salaries by 30-50 percent and they don't intend to return to work till they gain their ends.
An owner of a looted shop said that he and his employees had to escape the building of his own shop through the back door, when a heated crowd broke into it.
The federal traffic police of Brazil tried to bring the situation under control, but it didn't manage to do this. That's why the government decided to send the Brazilian National Guard in the city.
It has been said that the state's government can't negotiate with the striking police, it can only put an end to the strike.
Brazil's Minister of Justice arrived in Recife on Thursday to discuss the situation with the state's governor.
Protesters disgusted at the price tag of the World Cup called for demonstrations across Brazil on Thursday, trying to regain the momentum that disrupted the Confederations Cup a year ago, AFP reports. Ongoing strikes by police and teachers and the threat of a nationwide strike by federal police also raised fears of chaos with 28 days to go until the World Cup.
In business hub Sao Paulo, about 5,000 members of the Homeless Workers' Movement (MTST) set fire to car tires and marched towards the Corinthians Arena stadium, which will host the World Cup opening match between Brazil and Croatia on June 12.
Around 200 metalworkers also held a protest against unemployment outside a factory in the south of the city.
Several hundred demonstrators blocked a nearby street demanding housing, and hundreds of others barricaded a road leading from the Osasco suburb into the city, Globo TV reported.
Several movements took to social media calling for protests in at least 10 of the 12 World Cup host cities on issues ranging from poverty to concerns over human rights.
One of the groups calling for protests was the Free Pass Movement (MPL), a student group whose demand for free public transport helped spark million-strong street protests last year that embarrassed Brazil during the Confederations Cup, a World Cup warm-up tournament.
The movement said it hoped to gather 15,000 people in the streets of Sao Paulo.
In Rio de Janeiro, where the World Cup final will be played on July 13, anarchist group Black Bloc and hacker group Anonymous were also helping organize protests.
Anonymous hacked the official website of Sao Paulo's World Cup organizing committee the evening before and put up the slogan "Without rights there will be no World Cup."
Brazil has spent more than $11 billion to organize the World Cup, money protesters say could have been better spent on pressing needs in areas such as transport, education and health care.
The protests have shrunk in numbers recently but have also grown more radical. Thursday's demonstrations will be a test of both the movements' momentum and the police's ability to contain them.
Brazil is also facing strikes by teachers and by military police in host city Recife. Rio bus drivers trashed 708 buses in three days of strikes that ended Wednesday, and federal police are also threatening a nationwide strike during the World Cup.