Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

São Paulo Subway Workers on Strike

Subway workers in the Brazilian megacity have voted for a 24-hour work stoppage. The strike is against fare increases, layoffs and the privatization of the subway.

Left Voice

January 18, 2018
Facebook Twitter Share

On Wednesday evening, São Paulo subway workers voted to strike for 24 hours in protest against the privatization of the subway system. There is already one privatized subway line in the city. On Friday, two more lines will go up for sale. This would mean divisions among subway workers, with some employed by the state and others by private companies.

Subway workers are among the most visible and combative sector of Brazil’s working class, having gone on strike more than once in the past year. As the São Paulo government, following the lead of the national government, prepares new austerity measures this year, the privatization of the metro is an attack on a well-organized group of workers. According to Datafolha, seven out of ten Brazilians are against the privatization plans.

The strike is also against planned fare hikes, which have brought about large mobilizations in São Paulo in recent years. Some of these mobilizations have been brutally repressed by the police.

São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil with almost 12 million people. The subway system is the second largest in Latin America, with a length of almost 50 miles, transporting 4.6 million people every day.

Subway lines stopped today

Arbitrary layoffs and political persecution of subway workers are yet another reason for the strike. Two months ago, three workers were fired — one due to health problems and “low productivity” and two as political retaliation for fighting against subcontracting in the subway.

This comes in a context of a massive economic crisis in Brazil, as well as a series of austerity measures passed by the right-wing federal government that strip the working class of basic rights won over decades.

Despite the inconveniences for commuters, on Thursday morning the strike received a great deal of support from the working population. At several pickets where workers explained the reasons for the action, they were greeted with applause. Popular musicians such as Ratos de Porão also spoke out in favour.

Public transportation is not for sale. Against the privatization of the metro and the fare hikes.

Facebook Twitter Share

Left Voice

Militant journalism, revolutionary politics.

Labor Movement

The Big Three Are Using Layoffs to Punish the UAW and Undermine the Strike

The Big Three are retaliating against the UAW by laying off thousands of its members at plants across the country. Defeating these attacks will require the self organization and mobilization of all the workers.

James Dennis Hoff

September 28, 2023
President Biden visits striking UAW workers in Michigan.

Biden’s Picket Line Visit Doesn’t Mean He Is On Our Side

President Biden’s visit to the UAW picket line shows the strength of the strike — and why it should remain independent from him and the Democrats.

Tatiana Cozzarelli

September 27, 2023

Scabs Will Not Pass: Defend the UAW Strike With Organized Grassroots Power

The Big Three are escalating their use of scabs. The rank and file are fighting back.

Jason Koslowski

September 27, 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


Left Voice Magazine: Special Issue on Our Congress

In July, Left Voice held its first congress. As part of this special issue of our magazine, we are publishing two documents that formed the basis of the discussions, as well as an substantive and rousing greeting from Leticia Parks, a Black revolutionary socialist from Brazil. We also include an appeal for Climate Leninism, a debate with Tempest, and a talk about women’s liberation in revolutionary Russia.

Left Voice

October 1, 2023

Notes on the International Situation

A Convulsive New Phase of the Crisis of Neoliberalism — A Document for the Left Voice Congress

Left Voice

October 1, 2023

A Slow-Moving Crisis of the Empire

Notes on the National Situation – A Document for the Left Voice Congress

Left Voice

October 1, 2023

Debating the Path to the Party

Revolutionaries and Reformist Organizations — A Debate Between Jimena Vergara of Left Voice and Aaron Amaral of Tempest at the Socialism Conference in Chicago.

Jimena Vergara

October 1, 2023