By Ben Tavener, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Postal workers are to “continue and strengthen” strikes across Brazil after rejecting a renewed attempt by employers ECT (Post and Telegraph Corporation) to avert further industrial action. The strikes, which began on September 14th and are having an impact on deliveries, will go on “indefinitely” as they remain the union’s “greatest bargaining power”.

Post Strike in Brasília outside the Palácio do Planalto, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
Protests continued Friday outside Brasília’s Palácio do Planalto with others in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, photo by Fabio Rodrigues Pozzebom/ABr.

According to the Post Office 19 percent of workers were on strike, but unions say the figure is closer to 70 percent.

ECT bosses failed to get workers to agree to terms previously offered before strikes began: a 6.87 percent wage increase, a one-off R$800 bonus and benefits amounting to “a 13 percent increase for two thirds of workers”.

On Friday morning, the postal workers union, Fentect, announced their counteroffer: a R$200 monthly increase, as well as an inflation-pegged 7.16 percent rise, effectively boosting monthly salaries of R$807 to R$1,635.

ECT said the counteroffer was “practically the same as strikers’ initial demands” and would mean inflating its payroll bill by 70 percent.

Fentect said it remained “willing to negotiate” but that they would press ahead with strikes after their counteroffer was “rejected before it was even looked at”, accusing the ECT’s latest offer of showing a lack of respect towards its members.

Services are said to be running with a 35 percent average delay, with premium services Sedex 10, Sedex Hoje and Disque Coleta currently suspended.

Read more (in Portuguese).

* The Rio Times Daily Update is a new feature we are offering to help keep you up-to-date with the major news as it happens.


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