• Wed
  • Sep 17, 2014
  • Updated: 3:48pm

Carnival clean-up workers get armed guard in Rio de Janeiro

PUBLISHED : Friday, 07 March, 2014, 9:53pm
UPDATED : Friday, 07 March, 2014, 9:53pm

A battalion of military police escorted sanitation workers in Rio de Janeiro after the city's biggest yearly event was marred by stinking rubbish.

Mayor Eduardo Paes announced the protection after refuse collectors received threats from co-workers who have been striking over pay since last Saturday, the first day of the Rio Carnival.

Revellers navigated through piles of rubbish reeking of urine while dancing samba at street parties known as blocos. The carnival ended on Wednesday.

Paes added that some buses carrying cleaners to the city's famed Sambodrome had been intercepted by men wielding pistols. Streets around the venue have been awash with rubbish.

The conflict highlights Rio's vulnerability to public service disruptions as it prepares to host the final of soccer's World Cup in July and the Summer Olympic Games in 2016.

A wave of protests and vandalism sparked by bus fare increases shut parts of Rio and other Brazilian cities on and off for weeks last year.

Teachers and bank workers have also gone on strike.


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The main reasons for the strike started on the first of March are better salaries, better working conditions, food tickets and career plans. The trade union accepted a deal without the consentment of the majority of workers. The workers say the trade union leaders are not representing their interests, since they are appointed by politicians close to the mayor of the city.
There are more protests scheduled for the weekend. It's is estimated that 35% of the workforce currently support the strike. Next Tuesday will be a key date, as a group of workers, sindicate and government representatives will have a meeting with the Work Court top prosecutors with the objective to put and end on the differences. During Carnival the amount of waste is extremely high due to enourmous street parties.


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