Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

São Paulo Metro on Strike

Transit workers in São Paulo, Brazil join nationwide work stoppage on March 15th against austerity measures.

Victor Mariutti

March 15, 2017
Facebook Twitter Share

Image from Cuslar

In an effort to resist President Temer’s countless attacks on workers, bus drivers and metro workers in São Paulo voted today to go on a 24-hour work stoppage. They join the national teachers’ union, steelworkers, public utility workers, and bank workers who will also stop on March 15.

São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil with almost 12 million people, putting it among the top 15 largest cities in the world. The São Paulo subway system is the second largest in South America, with a length of almost 50 miles. 4.6 million people take the subway every day. Yet, on March 15, that subway system will come to a stop in order to protest austerity measures proposed by the government.

The Temer administration’s plans include radically pro-business reforms to existing labor laws, a massive cut back of retirement benefits, laws that incriminate organized labor and strike action, the wholesale privatization of public services and cuts to education, among others. These pieces of legislation profoundly undermine workers rights and the rights of marginalized peoples.

This is what the Temer government was put in power to do. Last year opposition parties, business interests and the judiciary orchestrated an institutional coup which brought to power the current right-wing administration headed by Michel Temer, which is now pushing through these policies.

The Brazilian economy is in a downward slump for several years now. Furthermore, half of Brazil’s tax revenue is transferred to banks through debt interest payments. Yet, the Temer administration tries to place the burden of the current economic crisis on workers by crippling their livelihoods with the proposed cuts.

There will be several other sectors of the Brazilian working class that will stop on March 15. In Rio de Janeiro, the bus drivers will also engage in a work stoppage. Essentially all teachers in Sao Paulo will also be on strike on the 15th. In Sao Paulo, these stoppages take place despite threats from the governor and mayor.

While the 24-hour work stoppage is an important display of resistance, only a concrete plan for action that exceeds a single day will be able to resist the administration’s attacks. It is imperative now to engage workers in democratic assemblies to vote for a coordinated strike action. To that end, national trade union centers must be pressured into organizing and mobilizing their rank and file rather than negotiating with the administration or focusing their energies on future electoral campaigns.

Already we see multiple examples of resistance to the austerity measures. The most recent mayoral election cycle saw a massive turnout for leftist candidate Marcelo Freixo in Rio de Janeiro. In the University of São Paulo last week, students, faculty and staff confronted the police in a demonstration against massive layoffs. In Rio de Janeiro, state water and sewage utility workers, together with students and teachers fought against plans to privatize the water company. These acts attest to a desire to resist and defeat the capitalists’ attacks. The central task for the left is to organize a plan of action with rank and file workers that can effectively defeat Termer’s austerity plans.

Facebook Twitter Share

Latin America

Woman holds a yellow sign that says "Nueva constitucion" in black text and another person is holding a yellow sign behind her that reads "No violencia clasista"

‘Boric Has Strengthened the Right-Wing Opposition’: Interview with a Chilean Socialist

In Chile, the illusion of winning the battle against neoliberalism in parliament has been shattered. We interviewed Chilean socialist Dauno Totoro about the recent rejection of a proposed constitution and the need to fight for a revolutionary, internationalist, and socialist Left.

Left Voice

September 25, 2022
Chilean president Gabriel Boric

Chileans Reject Proposed Constitution

On Sunday, Chileans overwhelmingly rejected a new proposed constitution. The result reflects both a rightward shift in Chile and disillusionment with President Gabriel Boric.

Otto Fors

September 6, 2022
Protesters in Puerto Rico in Old San Juan in the dark. Protesting LUMA private electricity company.

Police Repress Protest in Puerto Rico as People Continue to Demand End of Contract with LUMA

Puerto Ricans are protesting constant power outages, after their electrical grid was partially privatized. They are demanding that the private electric company, LUMA, have its contract canceled. In response, they have faced repression and police brutality.

Raura Doreste

August 29, 2022

Cops Out of Martial Arts: You Can’t Make “More Humane” Agents of State Terror

Leandro Lo, a world champion in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, was recently shot and killed by an off-duty cop in Brazil. Martial arts coaches and practitioners often welcome cops into their spaces, saying they’re then less likely to use deadly force. Let’s be clear: cops have no place in martial arts schools

Mike Pappas

August 10, 2022


Italian far-right leader Giorgia Meloni gives a speech, an Italian flag covers the podium

Elections in Italy amid Political Crisis: Interview with an Italian Socialist

The right wing is expected to win in Italy’s snap elections on Sunday. An Italian socialist explains the origins of the current political crisis, the rise of the right wing, and the tasks for the Left.

Left Voice

September 21, 2022
Detroit protesters hold green banner that says "DTE" Affordable Renewable Energy Now

Detroiters Say ‘Hell No!’ to DTE’s Proposed Electricity Rate Hike

Detroiters are confronting regulators who are deciding whether private utilities can extract more profits from the working class during energy, inflation, housing, and climate crises.

Lee Palmer

September 20, 2022

Say Her Name! Protests Erupt across Iran after Police Murder of Mahsa Amini

Iran has erupted over the death of a young woman in police custody for "improperly" wearing the hijab. In the context of a deep economic and political crisis, Iranians are also questioning their deeply unpopular regime and its brutal oppression of women.

Maryam Alaniz

September 20, 2022
US President Joe Biden stands in a suit wearing a mask, but is taking off one side of it.

Despite What Biden Says, the Pandemic Isn’t Over

Joe Biden and the bourgeoisie may be ready for the pandemic to be over, but that doesn’t mean Covid-19 has gone away.

Olivia Wood

September 20, 2022