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

Pro-abortion activists hold up banners reading "Legal abortion" and "Forcing gestation is torture" during a protest against abortion named "For the Life", a week after the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) decriminalized abortion, in Monterrey, Mexico September 12, 2021.

Mexico Moves Closer to Decriminalizing Abortion, but the Fight Isn’t Over

The new ruling is an important step in advancing the decriminalization of abortion in Mexico. But we must fight for fully legal, free, and safe abortion across the country.

Joss Espinosa

September 14, 2023

The 1973 Coup in Chile, 50 Years Later: Lessons of a Revolutionary Process

50 years ago today, a U.S.-backed military coup overthrew the government of Salvador Allende in Chile, installing the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. Here, we share a series of articles to think about the lessons from the defeat of one of the most profound revolutionary processes in Latin America.  

Left Voice

September 11, 2023
Argentine presidential candidate of the La Libertad Avanza alliance, Javier Milei, reacts with Ramiro Marra, candidate for head of government of Buenos Aires, and Victoria Villarruel, candidate for vice-president, on stage at his campaign headquarters on the day of Argentina's primary elections, in Buenos Aires, Argentina August 13, 2023. REUTERS/Stringer

What Explains the Rise of the Far Right in Argentina?

The Peronists’ “lesser evil” strategy has failed to stop the rise of Javier Milei, the most reactionary major candidate Argentina has seen in decades.

Robert Belano

August 22, 2023

Building “A Real Alternative to the Bosses’ Parties”: Interview with Argentinian Socialist Congresswoman Myriam Bregman

Socialist feminist leader, congress member and presidential candidate Myriam Bregman spoke with Jacobin Latin America about the record of the Peronists in government, the new far right, and the necessity of a true alternative for working people.

Myriam Bregman

August 13, 2023


China’s Rise, ‘Diminished Dependency,’ and Imperialism in Times of World Disorder

In this broad-ranging interview, originally published in LINKS, Trotskyist Fraction member Esteban Mercatante discusses how recent global shifts in processes of capital accumulation have contributed to China’s rise, the new (and old) mechanisms big powers use to plunder the Global South, and its implications for anti-imperialist and working-class struggles today.

Esteban Mercatante

September 22, 2023
President Biden giving a speech on Friday, September 15, about the UAW strike. A UAW sign in the background.

Joe Biden Is Afraid of the UAW Strike. That’s a Good Thing.

A few days ago, Biden called on the bosses of the Big Three automakers to give concessions to the striking UAW workers. It’s because he’s scared of the UAW’s power.

Enid Brain

September 20, 2023
Migrants from Northern Africa sit in lines on the Italian island of Lampedusa.

Crisis in Lampedusa: Down with Fortress Europe, Open the Borders!

The way out of the immigration crisis is through the struggle against imperialism. This is a declaration from the European organizations of the Trotskyist Fraction - Fourth International.

NYC Mayor Eric Adams stands at a podium.

The Housing Crisis and Migrant Crisis Are Crises of Capitalism

As thousands of people come to the U.S. seeking shelter, politicians around the country are claiming that housing in the U.S. is already in crisis and that there is no room for them. Both the “migrant crisis” and “housing crisis” are crises created and exacerbated by capitalism.

Mike Pappas

September 20, 2023