By Michela DellaMonica, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL — The President of Comlurb, Vinicius Roriz, said in an interview with O Globo Thursday afternoon that the company is referring back to its “crisis manual” to accelerate the emergency garbage collection in areas most affected by the street sweeper strike during Carnival. Roriz said that between contingency measures they are working to transfer all staff for the emergency removal of garbage in select areas.

Garbage Strike, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
As some street sweepers go back to work, some continue to protest. Photo by Tania Rego/Agencia Brasil.

The Justiça do Trabalho (Labor Court) had previously declared the demonstration illegal and the military police reportedly dispersed the protestors with tear gas during their demonstrations. Roriz called the Rio Operations Center (Centro de Operações Rio) which supported the strike, an illegal institution.

Roriz also stated that Comlurb “had no reason ” to adopt a contingency plan during this Carnival season. “We have a crisis manual that usually works in periods of heavy rain, for example. We stopped the selective collection and free removal of rubble to reinforce the collection on the streets,” said the President of Comlurb.

On Thursday afternoon, the garbage men decided to continue the strike and held a march towards the city center. With continued criticism, Roriz said the strikers “have no commitment to anything” and that what they’re doing is “blackmail to the city of Rio.”

The situation has been gradually normalized with the 300 layoffs revoked. Comlurb has 22,000 employees and a thousand trash pickup vehicles. The strikers were initially demanding better working conditions, with a salary rise from R$803 to R$1,200 a month, the daily food allowance to be raised from R$12 to R$20, and overtime payment for work on Sundays and public holidays. There are plans for another protest today at 10am in front of City Hall.

Read more (in Portuguese).

* The Rio Times Daily Updates feature is offered to help keep you up-to-date with important news as it happens.


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