Rio de Janeiro bus drivers on Tuesday began a 48-hour strike that left tens of thousands of people without transportation and caused huge problems in Brazil's second-largest city. Participation in the strike was greater than in the 24-hour effort staged last Thursday when on the streets of Rio scarcely a single bus was to be seen.
Only 10% of the city's buses were operating, and so the metro and commuter train services were reinforced, the municipal transport department said. The strike was begun at midnight Monday.
The majority of Rio's 6 million residents depend on buses to get to work, since the metro and train networks do not cover large parts of the city.
At some spots around the city there were large crowds of people waiting for some type of transportation.
The drivers are demanding a 40% salary hike and have rejected an agreement reached by their union with the transit companies to accept a 10% increase.
In last Thursday's work stoppage, strikers damaged the windows, license plates and tires of about 460 buses.
At least ten buses were reported to have been attacked with stones and bats despite Justice minister Jose Eduardo Cardoso who warned about damaging government or private property.
The strikes season previous to the World Cup has taken off wrote the daily O' Globo, that list the measures adopted by government in the whole Brazilian territory to ensure the month long Cup evolves peacefully.
Meanwhile the Regional Labor Tribunal declared the Tuesday strike 'illegal' and security forces doubled custody of transport companies buildings and parking lots.