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Montevideo, February 21st 2018 - 20:50 UTC

2014 World Cup stadium workers threaten to strike for better working conditions

Wednesday, February 12th 2014 - 09:05 UTC
Full article 4 comments
Seven workers have died at World Cup venues so far Seven workers have died at World Cup venues so far

Workers at a World Cup stadium in the jungle city of Manaus are threatening to go on strike to demand better conditions following a third recent construction-related death at the venue. A walkout could further delay the completion of the Arena da Amazonia just months before the start of football’s showcase tournament.

 “We have to guarantee the workers’ rights and their safety,” union leader Cícero Custódio told Brazilian news media. “Nobody will get in on Monday.”

A 55-year-old Portuguese man was killed in an accident on Friday while disassembling a crane that was used to install the stadium’s roof, becoming the third worker to die at the venue in less than a year.

The Arena da Amazônia is one of the five stadiums still under construction for the World Cup. Brazil promised all 12 venues would be ready by the end of last year, well ahead of the June 12 opener, but only seven have been completed. Six of them had to be ready for the Confederations Cup warm-up tournament last June.

Organizers said the Arena da Amazonia was nearly 97% completed when the accident happened, with only minor details keeping it from being inaugurated sometime this month. Amazonas state Governor Omar Aziz was expected to visit the stadium on Friday to announce the inauguration date, but the visit was canceled because of the worker’s death.

Organizers said on Friday that the accident would not interfere with the stadium’s construction because the crane had already been removed from the venue’s main construction area.

The worker who died was identified as Antônio José Pita Martins, who was working for the Portuguese company Martifer, a multinational focused in metal constructions.

Authorities are investigating the accident and public prosecutors said they will halt construction if safety conditions at the site are not adequate.

The first death in Manaus happened in March, when a man fell from a scaffold and hit his head. In December, another worker died after falling 35 meters while working on the stadium’s roof, prompting a work stoppage of four days as authorities inspected safety conditions. Later that same day, a worker died of a heart attack while paving an area outside the venue.

Seven workers have died at World Cup venues so far. In late November, two workers were killed when a crane collapsed while hoisting a 500-ton piece of roofing at the stadium that will host the World Cup opener in Sao Paulo. In 2012, a worker died at the construction site of the stadium in the nation’s capital, Brasilia.

Brazil has been under a spotlight because of its problematic World Cup preparations, with the southern host city of Curitiba still in danger of being dropped because of a delay in stadium construction. The country also is making headlines because of fan violence and turmoil in the Brazilian league, which may not start on time because of a series of civil lawsuits against a sports tribunal decision that altered

Categories: Politics, Brazil.

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  • ChrisR

    ““We have to guarantee the workers’ rights and their safety,” union leader Cícero Custódio told Brazilian news media”

    NO, that is not your job, that is the employer’s responsibility, in this case the cranes owners.

    They are responsible for training their people not the fucking useless unions and if someone dies like here, someone from the owners should be held responsible and pay by going to jail.

    Jailing owners will soon ensure that only trained and suitably supported people will be employed for these jobs.

    What will the Union do then; strike because the owners are selecting special people and their morons can't do the work?

    Don't laugh; THIS HAPPENED in Britain before The Blessed Margaret cut the balls off the unions. Looks like LatAm need a few castrators of their own.

    Feb 12th, 2014 - 03:23 pm 0
  • Klingon

    @1 correct
    The unions make the companies employ all these brain dead idiots to collect a paycheck and pay their union fees.
    We need someone here to neuter the unions as nothing gets achieved when all they want to do is strike and block the roads for everyone else.

    Feb 13th, 2014 - 01:58 am 0
  • cornelius

    Good the world cup will be a disaster because a socialist communist president a communist!! good Brazilian deserve that because they have no brain in selecting a president just like all the Bolivarian presidents Uruguay Argentina Bolivia Ecuador Venezuela Never have been so much pile of crap in one continent at the same time in charge.

    Feb 13th, 2014 - 03:08 am 0
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