Sao Paulo metro strike suspended; fears loom ahead of World Cup
Tuesday, June 10, 2014 - 01:36
June 10 - Subway workers in Brazil suspend a strike that has crippled traffic but warn they could resume their walkout when Sao Paulo hosts the first game of the soccer World Cup. Sarah Toms reports.
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Monday started badly in Brazil's biggest city when police used tear gas to disperse striking workers.
Subway workers have been on strike for five days over pay increase demands.
They've caused widespread disruption and giant traffic jams in San Paulo just days before the city hosts the first football game of the World Cup.
But late on Monday, there was a slight turnaround as workers voted to suspend the strike.
There's still a possibility, though, that the walkout could be resumed.
Union leaders are set to restart negotiations on Wednesday and any decision, they say, depends on rehiring workers dismissed for striking.
(SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) METRO WORKERS UNION PRESIDENT ALTINO DE MELO PRAZERES, SAYING:
"It was voted on at this moment that we return to work and that the strike is suspended and that we hold another assembly on the 11th. Maybe the strike will return on the 12th and this will depend on the readmission of the 42 workers who were fired."
A small victory came from the homeless workers movement, which said it wouldn't be taking to the streets after the government agreed to build public housing units.
By early evening there was more bad news. Part of a monorail under construction for the tournament collapsed onto a busy throughfare below, killing at least one passerby. Workers were rushing to complete it as it was behind schedule.
Preparations for the World Cup have been beset by construction delays and strikes but the government is still hoping to try and turn it around before kickoff on Thursday.
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