Brazil strikes a threat to a smooth World Cup
Subway train operators, along with some activists, clash with police at the Ana Rosa metro station on the second day of their metro strike in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, June 6, 2014. The workers clashed with police as they tried to block other operators from breaking the strike. Overland commuter train operators went on strike Thursday, putting at risk the only means that most soccer fans will have to reach Itaquerao stadium ahead of next week's World Cup. (AP Photo/Nelson Antoine)
SAO PAULO — Brazilian police used tear gas, rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse striking workers inside a subway station on Friday, adding to fears that labor unrest could disrupt the World Cup that opens here in six days.
At least three union members were injured in the Sao Paulo clash, said Paulo Iannone, a union spokesman.
Operators of the subway and overland trains were in the second day of a strike for higher wages, with no indication that it would end soon. Late Friday, officials and the union representing workers said they had not reached an agreement to end the strike and it would continue into Saturday.
That’s worrying for authorities because most soccer fans heading to Thursday’s opening Cup match in Sao Paulo will need to use the subway.
If such strikes continue, “there will be chaos during the World Cup,” said Carla Dieguez, a sociologist at Sao Paulo University’s School of Sociology and Politics.