Written by PSTU – Brasil
Monday, 01 June 2015 18:23
The National Day of Strikes and Demonstrations, held on May 29, counted on a strong support of important workers’ branches and social movements throughout the country.
Metalworkers, Teachers, Civil Servants, Bank Workers, Oil workers, among other sectors, as well as students and popular movement activists stopped their activities, shut down streets and highways and protested against the Dilma government’s and National Congress’ measures which take away workers’ rights. They also protested against the fiscal adjustment.
The protest day was defined by the trade union centers CSP-Conlutas, CUT, CTB, UGT and Força Sindical, as well as countless social movements and organizations from all over Brazil.
Check it out below about what happened in some states on that day.
São Paulo (capital)
In the West region, staff, students and teachers from the University of São Paulo (USP) protested at the main entrance of the university. They also temporarily shut the Raposo Tavares Highway, near the site. The police cracked down on the demonstration shooting rubber bullets, tear gas bombs and pepper spray. The Globo TV (the main communication network in the country) recorded the moment when a policeman inside a car, aimed his weapon and shot at the demonstrators, who were already running to escape from the police assault.
Demonstrators also protested at the Marginal Pinheiros Avenue. The unions that participanted were: CSP-Conlutas, CUT, Intersindical, Subway Workers’ Union, the Chemical Workers Union, Apeoesp (São Paulo state teachers union) as well as residents at the Jardim União and Terra Prometida homeless occupations. The Socorro bridge over the Pinheiros river, in the South Region, was also blocked. The Anhanguera highway was also blocked by protesters and the Bandeiras bridge over the Tietê river, at the East Region of the city as well.
In the afternoon, a teachers’ meeting brought together 5 thousand people and they decided to continue their 8-week strike for pay rise and better working conditions.
Paraíba Valley and São José dos Campos
The day started out with the adhesion of GM workers. Many of them didn’t even go to work. Those who came went back home, starting a 24-hour strike. At Avibras, the metalworkers voted for a 24-hour strike and they also shut the Tamoios Highway which connects São José dos Campos to the touristic North Coast of São Paulo State.
At Embraer, metalworkers and bus drivers carried out a joint mobilization. The drivers who make the transport of Embraer employees imposed a ‘turtle operation’ – a purposeful reduction of working pace – at Faria Lima Avenue, which gives access to the company, and such operation delayed the workers’ entrance for three hours. The metalworkers of TI Automotive decided on Thursday that there would be no production on May 29. There were protests and workers meetings at MWL and Blue Tech in Caçapava.
São Paulo city industrial belt: ABC
Metalworkers from Volks, Ford, Mercedes, among other plants carried out a 24-hour strike. In the seven cities (Santo André, São Bernardo do Campo, São Caetano, Diadema, Mauá, Ribeirão Pires and Rio Grande da Serra) there was a four-hour strike of bus drivers. Oil workers from the Capuava Refinery (Recap/ Petrobras) stopped working for two hours.
Baixada Santista (Southern Coast of São Paulo State)
The access to the Port of Santos, between Santos and São Vicente, was blocked early in the morning. The traffic of trucks and passenger vehicles was paralyzed for more than three hours.
Campinas metropolitan region – São Paulo State
The Paulinia Refinery (Replan/ Petrobras) paralyzed work for eight hours. There was also a stoppage at the Dellfactory in Hortolandia and blocking of highways.
RIO DE JANEIRO
In Rio de Janeiro, a Petrobras workers’ demonstration took part in the morning at downtown, which gathered together permanent and outsourced workers. At Ilha do Governador, the workers of the TABG (Waterway Terminal of the Guanabara Bay) joined the National Day of Strikes and Demonstrations approving an eight-hour stoppage. At Cidade Nova, the PSTU and CSP-Conlutas militancy in the Post Office Services of Rio de Janeiro protested against the billionaire leak of US$ 2 billion from the Postalis , demonstrating at the CTC (Post Office screen center) of Nova Cidade. Later in the afternoon, it took place a unitary act at Candelaria district.
The oil workers from the Duque de Caxias refinery carried out a three-hour stoppage against the outsourcing Bill and the Provisional Acts that withdraw workers’ rights.
In Nova Iguaçu, the Union of commerce workers carried out a picket line on the sidewalk of the city, demanding job stability since last December and no dismissal of any worker. After a lot of pressure, the employer gave in and came to the sidewalk in order to negotiate with the trade union compromising on job stability and paying overtime.
Following the win, the Trade Union of Nova Iguaçu Commerce workers, the Banking workers Opposition, the Baixada Struggles Forum and the drivers Union Opposition, besides the PSTU, went to the unified demonstration in Rio de Janeiro.
In Niteroi, students and workers of UFF (Fluminense Federal University) on strike carried out a picket line at the campus of Valonguinho and Gragoatá that did not work on May 29 and joined to the millions of workers who participated in the National Day of Strikes and Demonstrations.
In Seropédica, the workers of the BLS/BF Thermoelectric carried out a delay in the entry of the morning shift.
In Cajú there was leafleting at Inhauma shipyard.
In Macaé, Northern coast of Rio de Janeiro State there was a large demonstration in the Campista Beach with blocking of roads and approval of the strike by oil workers from at least 13 offshore platforms.
In São Gonçalo, a unified rally brought together activists and trade union leaders at the Rodo Square, downtown.
Belo Horizonte and Contagem
Subway Workers of Belo Horizonte and Contagem and transport workers of Barreiros and Diamante stations held a stoppage. In the afternoon, there was a unified demonstration in downtown Belo Horizonte.
Congonhas – Minas Gerais State
The highway BR 040, in the city entrance was blocked. The protest affected all mining companies in the region because the Highway is the access of buses driving workers to their workplaces. At 7:30, there was already a 20-kilometer traffic jam.
The civil construction workers stopped the construction sites and walked by the city streets chanting watchwords.
The bus drivers and civil construction workers stopped. In addition to the national agenda, the two sectors are fighting for pay rise. The civil construction workers struck for 24 hours. Workers rallied from different parts of the city towards the Portugal Square to hold a meeting. The bus drivers carried out stoppages for a few hours in seven bus stations. Some stations had a 100% stoppage and others worked in a slow pace (the so-called turtle operation).
Workers paralyzed a textile factory at Nossa Senhora do Socorro neighborhood. The strike was coordinated by the Sinditextil, affiliated to CUT. Oil workers paralyzed the Nitrogen Fertilizer Factory (Fafen / Petrobras). In addition to the common agenda of the National Strikes and Demonstrations Day, they incorporated the claim for a 100% state-owned Petrobras under workers’ control. There was also a strike at Votorantim (cement producer). A demonstration also blocked the important Augusto Montenegro Avenue.
RIO GRANDE DO SUL
Porto Alegre and Metropolitan Region
Transport on trains was completely paralyzed. Bus drivers also stopped and were harassed by the Military Brigade Commander. He said that if the protesters did not leave the front gates of the bus garage of the company Carris, “someone would die.” Municipal civil servants on strike for their own demands also participated in this National Day.
Bus drivers and subway workers sat back. The Conde da Boa Vista Avenue, one of the most important of the capital Recife, was completely empty that morning. The Suape dockers also sat back.
In Suape, the dockers sat back and faced a harsh repression from the police. The workers carried out a protest march on the highway PE-09 to the point known as Curva do Boi. The traffic stood still in both directions of Via Portuária.
The CSP-Conlutas took part in the road blocking in Camaçari, where it was also held a demonstration and a leafleting at the factories. There were also roadblocks in Feira de Santa and Cruz das Almas. In Lauro Freitas there was a demonstration where it was present the municipal teachers on strike, and other sectors of the municipal public service.
RIO GRANDE DO NORTE
In the capital Natal a unified meeting brought together hundreds of workers in downtown. The protest was concentrated near the Viaduto do Baldo and blocked the Rio Branco Avenue. From there, the activists continued in protest march up to Sete de Setembro Square, in front of the City Hall.
 – PORTALIS – Pension fund of the Brazilian Mail Company