Written by PSTU – Brasil
Monday, 09 June 2014 01:02
The São Paulo metro workers approved the continuation of the strike at a meeting held on Sunday afternoon, by a large majority of votes.
The metro workers are on strike since June 5 and face strong intransigence and truculence of the state government and the labor justice.
The trade union’s court was packed with metro workers for the meeting that discussed the next steps of the movement. A few hours earlier, in the morning, the Regional Labor Court (TRT), in a clear demonstration of subservience to the state government, declared the strike illegal and imposed a fine of US$ 220 thousand to the union if the strike continued. Moreover, the court reaffirmed the proposal made by the Metro company management, of 8.7% increase in wages, and stepped back on what it had suggested before (9.5%).
The workers have already faced the brutality and the threat of layoffs made by the governor Geraldo Alckmin (PSDB), as well as an intense media campaign against them, and did not bow to the Court decision. They decided to continue the strike. The meeting demonstrated the unity of the workers and the willingness to fight that spans virtually every sector, from maintenance, passing by security, to train operation.
“There’s a World Cup, the biggest international sporting event, we have the entire world watching this stuff, it’s a single moment we have now,” said Altino Pleasures, president of the Metro Workers Union and a PSTU’s militant. Defending the continuation of the strike, Altino recalled the period of the military dictatorship, when the metal workers from the ABC faced Justice (in 1981), as well as the strikes by the street-sweepers in Rio, last February, and the construction workers of the Monorail, whose strikes were also declared illegal by the labor justice, but were victorious.
“The only way to confront and overcome the fear is to fight all together, united,” argued Paulo Pasin, from the union’s leadership and president of the Fenametro (National Federation of Metro Workers). The truculent court decision, which does not recognize the right to strike, further united the workers, who chanted after the approval of the continuation of the movement: “No step back”.