Brazil: Sao Paolo subway strike suspended but could resume for World Cup

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It is back to business as usual on the Sao Paulo metro – for now at least.

A five-day subway strike over pay, that has caused chaos, has been suspended.

But unless workers’ demands are met, the walkout could resume on Thursday when Brazil’s biggest city hosts the opening match of football’s World Cup.

As players and fans arrive for the event, Sao Paulo commuter Emerson Ribeiro welcomed the fact that things are moving again, saying that strikers must realise that their stoppage is affecting people, particularly the poor.

“It’s fine if they go on strike but the people should not be hit,” said fellow commuter Maria Conceicao.

“Because they will get their salary increase while I, for example, have to take three different modes of transport and I don’t have enough money.”

Union officials suspended the stoppage to allow for negotiations on their more than 12 percent pay claim. They are also demanding that workers dismissed in a strike, ruled illegal by the courts, be reinstated.

In Rio de Janeiro, teachers staged their own protest outside a newly-opened World Cup media centre, heightening concerns over whether Brazil’s government can prevent a wave of social unrest from disrupting the World Cup.

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