Arab Today, arab today brazil\s staterun airports hit by strike for second day
Last Updated : GMT 12:06:35
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Brazil\'s state-run airports hit by strike for second day

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Arab Today, arab today Brazil\'s state-run airports hit by strike for second day

Sao Paulo - AFP

A strike over pay by workers at government-run Brazilian airports went into a second day Thursday as a court ordered air traffic controllers to stay on the job. The National Union of Airport employees (SINA) said the strikers were pressing on with the stoppage at 80 percent of the 63 airports run by the federal agency Infraero. \"Yesterday (Wednesday), all workers voted, in general assemblies, to continue the strike,\" said Severino Macedo, a top SINA official. The union is demanding a 16 percent pay increase and better work benefits but Infraero is offering only a 6.49 percent hike. The union also opposes the government\'s privatization program as part of efforts to upgrade the country\'s congested and aging airports ahead of next year\'s World Cup and the 2016 Rio summer Olympics. But a labor court on Wednesday ruled that all air traffic controllers, 70 percent of security and operations workers and at least 40 percent of other staff must stay on the job at the affected airports. It warned that the union faces a $22,000 fine if it fails to comply. Infraero turned to the court as a \"preventive measure to avoid possible major disruptions,\" according to a spokesman. He insisted that only six airports were significantly affected by the stoppage: Sao Paulo\'s Congonhas, Rio\'s Galeao and those in the cities of Vitoria, Recife, Fortaleza and Salvador. Infraero set in motion contingency measures to ensure essential services. Early Thursday, bad weather, not the strike, crippled domestic traffic at Rio\'s Galeao and Santos Dumont airports, the company said. Infraero\'s 63 airports handled 10.6 million passengers in June. In December, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff announced that Rio\'s Galeao airport and Belo Horizonte\'s Confins would be privatized at a September 2013 auction.

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