Opinion: Brazil’s Teamsters on Strike!

Last week, the Brazilian teamsters discovered they had the power to bring the entire country to its knees, as they went on a nationwide strike.

Opinion, by Michael R Royster

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – In the USA, the word “teamster” used to mean a mule driver, since mules hauled freight in teams rather than singly. With the onset of the horseless carriage, the word morphed into a reference to truck drivers.

In America, the Teamsters Union has had immense power, principally in negotiating better pay and working conditions for teamsters. In Brazil, the trucker unions have not had as much power, because most truck drivers are self-employed service contractors, who own their own trucks and do not work for any specific employer . . .

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