In Brazil, thousands of riot police moved into San Paulo's industrial suburb, San Bernardo on Friday (23 March), following federal government action to break a ten-day old strike by metalworkers.
In Brazil, thousands of riot police moved into San Paulo's industrial suburb, San Bernardo on Friday (23 March), following federal government action to break a ten-day old strike by metalworkers. Two days of clashes followed. The strike, called to press demands for a new wage deal, has brought car production to a halt and affected other industries in the area.
SYNOPSIS: The strikers held a mass rally out-side the San Bernardo town hall on Saturday to show their rejection of a peace formula worked out by the three main unions involved, employers and government mediators. The day before, riot police had broken up a similar demonstration. Dozens of people were injured and at least a hundred detained. The government had declared the strike illegal, and replaced the union leaders with their own appointees. they were given ninety days to investigate the strike and to arrange elections of new union officials. It was to make their point that the government ordered riot police into the area.
The strikers, who decided to ignore their unions' call to return to work, took their protest to the street, and to a direct confrontation with the forces of the federal government. For more than two hours they fought running battles, using broken paving stones as missiles against the police, who replied with tear gas.
Later, a spokesman for the motor industry said more than half the workforce had obeyed their union's call to return to work. The strikers said the turnout was much lower. The strike was going to continue.