On the Eve of the World Cup A Wave of Strikes Shake Brazil
It is time for strikes. After the huge mobilizations last June, primarily the youth, now it is the working class and they are shaking Brazilian cities.
In Sao Paulo, on May 15th, the city came to a halt. In the morning metalworker (engineering workers) strikes together with homeless movements (MTST and Ocupação Esperança) blocked avenues in the urban areas. In the city centre, metro (tube) workers demonstrated in the morning and municipal teachers demonstrated in the afternoon. Strikes and demos were the headlines in all media.
But the mobilizations are not limited to May 15th. Municipal teachers are holding demonstrations with thousands every week during the last 40 days. Bus drivers went on strike for two days against the mayor, the bus companies and their union, eventually bringing Sao Paulo to a halt. In Cubatão, a highly industrialized area in in Sao Paulo state, thousands of outsourced workers are on strike stopping sectors of the local Petrobras refinery. In Sao Jose dos Campos, engineering workers (General Motors) are holding stoppages. University employees, teachers and students of the University of São Paulo(USP), together with their counterparts in UNICAMP and UNESP universities, are on strike demanding more funding. On top of that, engineering workers are scheduled to go on strike next Thursday, June 5th.
In other capitals across Brazil, the situation is no different. In Rio de Janeiro teachers’ demonstrations and bus drivers stoppages combine and show the workers’ mood and strength. In others capitals, key sectors of the working class are on the offensive. Different sectors of federal public workers are going on strike. Even the police, both military and civil, are holding protests across the country.
The economic slowdown and high indebtness is changing the mood among working class families. There is a general feeling that things are not getting better. On top of that Brazilian government spent huge sums in the football world cup which is gathering general disapproval for the lack of funding for public education, healthcare and transport. The polls show that 55% of the Brazilian population believes that the world cup will be more of a burden than a benefit for working class people.
INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY TO THE STRUGGLES IN BRAZIL
Besides the current struggles – teachers, university employees, metalworkers, public workers, the police and homeless movements – the metroworkers of Sao Paulo might take action on June 5th and there will be a national day of mobilizations next June 12th when the World Cup starts.
We ask labor and youth movements across the world to express solidarity to Brazilian workers. Motions and demos will be warmly welcome. Advancing the workers struggles in Brazil will be an advancement for the working class worldwide.
Long live the workers struggles in Brazil!
Long live the International Solidarity among the working class!
on behalf of CSP-Conlutas – São Paulo, June 2nd 2014
This union branch/meeting/Trades council/social organisation wants to send its solidarity to the Brazilian working class.
Having read your letter “On the Eve of the World Cup: A Wave of Strikes Shake Brazil” we want to express our support to all the strikes and social struggle activities that are taking place in May and June.
We support all your struggles for a better life for housing, decent employment with decent contracts and wages.
In particular we support the feeling of millions of people against the big business of the World Cup and that is making millions for Fifa and the multinationals and used money that should be spent on health, education and transport.
FIFA’s World Cup contributes to the violation of human rights, the right to adequate housing, the right to free movement, the right to work and the right to protest. Forced evictions have occurred all over Brazil in the wake of the Cup and have left many homeless and destitute.
We therefore wish you every success in your struggles against Fifa, the national, state and local governments of Brazil and the multinationals.
End the criminalisation of the Brazilian and British struggles
Long live the workers struggles in Brazil and Britain!
Long live the International Solidarity of the working class!