By Ben Tavener, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The ongoing national strike that is paralyzing over 40 percent of Brazil’s banks is the biggest in the last twenty years, according to Contraf (National Confederation of Banking Sector Workers union). With the new month just starting, many trying to pay bills have been affected by bottlenecks at ATMs and lottery retailers, where only R$800-1,000 can be processed in a single transaction.
The indefinite strike, which began on September 27th, is now affecting over 8,500 banks – both public and private – throughout the country, beating the number caught up in strike action last year, the union says.
“The strength of the strike is a direct result of the dissatisfaction caused by Fenaban’s [National Federation of Banks] unbending silence and unwillingness to resume negotiations,” said Contraf president Carlos Cordeiro in a statement which threatened continuing industrial action until “a decent settlement” was reached.
According to a research study, the starting salary at banks in Brazil in August 2010 was equivalent to US$735, lower than that of Uruguay (US$1,039) and almost half of that received by Argentine (US$1,432).
As well as the banks being on strike, postal workers’ unions also confirmed that the current postal services strike would continue after rejecting the Correios’ (Post Office) latest offer. Others have suggested the strike will come to an end next week.
Read more (in Portuguese).
* The Rio Times Daily Update is a new feature we are offering to help keep you up-to-date with major news as it happens