Brazil: Striking transport workers clash with police ahead of World Cup

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Brazilian riot police clashed with striking subway workers and their supporters in Sao Paulo on Monday.

Transport workers have been on strike for five days and are calling for a pay rise of just over 12 percent.

Just three days before the 2014 World Cup kicks off, almost half of the city’s subway stations were out of action.

Union leaders say they will continue the strike throughout the tournament unless the government agrees to negotiate with them.

“The government didn’t want to negotiate with the workers. At this moment we are on our fifth day of our strike. We want negotiations, we want to resolve this today even, but we need the good will of the government and state,” Altino de Melo Prazeres, President of the Sao Paolo Metro Workers Union, said.

The walkout comes after a year of rallies across Brazil calling for taxpayers’ money to be spent on better public services, amid anger that it has gone on the World Cup.