The Brazilian highways patrol police in several states joined the national strike of federal workers that are protesting for higher salaries and better working conditions. The strike of the National Federation of Highway Police (Fenapre) was decided unanimously over the weekend effective Monday.
According to an official release from the organization until next Friday 24 August, when a high level meeting is scheduled with the Ministry of Planning, 21 of the 24 unions from Fenapre will be on strike. The police officers are also demanding a restructuring of the career and night shift working conditions.
Among the states that adhered to the industrial action are Alagoas, Bahía, Minas Gerais, Santa Catarina, Pernambuco, Mato Grosso do Sul and Paraíba, according to Brazilian media. Under Brazilian law the strikers must notify their superiors the strike decision with anticipation and publish a report in the press in advance of the action. Highways’ police from Sao Paulo, Brazil’s powerhouse and richest state will join later in the week.
Federal Police organizations by law must comply with at least 30% of the services, mainly to look after emergency situations.
The Highways police federation thus joins other federal unions on strike; university professors, Federal Police that has slowed considerable passports’ control at airports and border crossings; the National Archive, the Tax Revenue office, several other government offices and at least twelve ministries that have been gradually joining the strike that was launched last May.
According to the Confederation of the Federal Public Service union, 30 different categories have adhered to the strike which means almost half a million out of 800.000 federal staff. University professors have been longest on strike, three months, and over the weekend the measure was ratified by almost 57 of the higher schools staff with the exception of the University of Brasilia that returned to work.
The Brazilian government has until the end of the month to reach an agreement with the different unions ahead of finishing the drafting of the 2013 budget which must be sent to Congress 31 August at the latest.
Meanwhile the Federal Police said they will intensify strike measures at airports and border crossings, which are expected to make controls far slower, longer queues and greater delays.
The Federal police representatives and government officials broke off discussions following mutual recriminations about responsibility of the conflict referred to border and airports controls.