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Brazilian Metalworkers Begin Strike for 9.5% Salary Increases

More than 43,000 Brazilian metalworkers including employees in the country’s auto-parts industry began striking today in Sao Paulo state to demand higher wages.

The metalworkers’ union in Sao Jose de Campos, which represents workers in about 900 factories, is demanding raises of as much as 9.5 percent, according to an e-mailed statement sent yesterday after members voted to strike.

The strike will start today in a few factories in the area and may grow to include other plants if workers and employers don’t reach an agreement during the week, Adilson dos Santos, a union representative, said in a telephone interview yesterday. The strikes will be rotated so not all factories are affected at the same time, he said.

Work stoppages have increased throughout Brazil in recent months after inflation accelerated to a six-year high, stoking fears that workers’ purchasing power is being eroded. Consumer prices rose 7.23 percent in August from a year. It was the fastest pace since 2005.

Sao Jose dos Campos is about 80 kilometers (50 miles) from the city of Sao Paulo. Factories in the region make auto parts, electronic goods and machinery.

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