Dockworkers at the Port of Santos in Braazil have planned a 24-hour strike today to protest the federal government’s push to privatize port terminals, according to a union leader, Reuters reports.
Brazil’s Congress passed legislation in May that dockworkers say will lead to loss of jobs and benefits, as private port operators are no longer obligated to hire through the centralized agency OGMO. The workers say that Embraport, a new private container terminal owned by Odebrecht Transport, DP World and Coimex, is not hiring through OGMO.
Stevedores were already protesting at the entrance of the port, near São Paulo, which was on holiday yesterday. Those protests resulted in a 1.86-mile traffic jam on the highway leading to the port, the private road operator Ecovias said in a Portuguese-language announcement on Twitter.
The National Stevedores Association in Brasilia said workers at other ports had decided against a July 10 strike and would instead join a variety of industries in Brazil planning a general strike on July 11, but the Santos union planned to go ahead with a walkout a day earlier.
The port strike follows nationwide demonstrations in June, which resulted in road congestion and transportation delays. Meanwhile, Brazil is currently exporting record shipments of soy, corn and sugar crops.