Strike Threat In Brazil

Brazilian business faces a wave of strikes. Emboldened by an economic recovery that is expected to push growth above 4% this year, workers in several industries are threatening walkouts for higher wages. Bank employees in 30 cities have been on strike for a week, while a walkout at airline Vasp grounded flights on Sept 21. Metal and chemical workers in Brazil's industrial belt are also threatening strikes. Workers are demanding pay hikes on the order of 4% to 17% above inflation, which is already running higher than the Central Bank's yearend target of 5.5%. Brazil's left-leaning President, Inácio Lula da Silva, a onetime union leader, has so far resisted calls to intervene in negotiations involving civil workers in the state of São Paulo.

Edited by Chris Power

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