(en) More on Brazil Port Strike

Andrew Flood (ANFLOOD@macollamh.ucd.ie)
Wed, 16 Apr 1997 09:42:10 +0100 (BST)


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Originator: union-d@wolfnet.com

This report from the Santos port unions, translated by LabourNet, predates the report that the Federal Police had gone in and arrested the workers occupying the ships.

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Support for the movement grows Cosipa goes back to the negotiation table but impasse continues

On the morning of Friday, April 11, Cosipa went back to the negotiating table, but the impasse continued this morning, April 14. The company insist that the end of the occupation of the ships Marcos Dias and Vancouver is a prior condition for the continuation of talks. The workers insist that to put an end to the occupation would mean to fulfil, with or without talks, the aims of the company. The workers proposed that Cosipa handles the ships with the unionised workers who are currently aboard them, but the company refuses the offer.

On the evening of April 10, when the possibility of reopening talks arose, the Sao Paulo Steel Company (COSIPA) was preparing another manoeuvre. A female judge of the TRT of Sao Paulo, Maria Aparecida Pellegrina, accepted the reasoning of the company, and gave a green light to the use of the Federal Police in the operation to evacuate the two ships. In the meantime, the Federal Police declared that will only intervene when authorised by its top officers in Brasilia.

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Demonstration takes Santos city centre

More than 1000 people participated in a demonstration at Maua Square in support of the maintenance of unionised labour at the Cosipa terminal, on thursday, April 10. This mass rally strengthens the resistance of the 25 who remain on board the ships Marcos Dias and Vancouver. The movement also served to warn the city of the social and economic damage which the steel company's decision could cause.

This was the biggest demonstration of solidarity and concern with the future of Lower Santos since 1991, when the federal government decided to dismiss more than 5000 dockers in Santos.

During the rally a message from the Liverpool dockers, who face the same struggle in their port, was read out to intense applause. The main slogan, shouted by everyone was: "Santos, Liverpool, Seoul, Amsterdam, the same world, the same struggle"

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National strike against the invasion

Any attempt to put an end to the occupation of the ships Marcos Dias and Vancouver by military force will be met by stoppages of work in all Brazilian ports. The decision was taken at a meeting in Santos, on Saturday morning, April 12, with union representatives from all 18 ports in the country. The national president of the CUT, Vicente Paulo da Silva, was present at the meeting.

A demonstration through the city centre and another march by car to the Cosipa terminal disrupted the weekend routine. The sit-in in front of the terminal was strengthened. 500 people have been outside the gate with tents since April 1.

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