Brazil's metro workers union and passenger alliance denounces government corruption
Last Tuesday (4 February) the metro in Sao Paulo experienced chaos as a door of one of the newly refurbished trains presented problems which caused a chain reaction bringing it to a halt. Passengers were forced to walk through dark, hot tunnels.
The trade union of metro workers (Sindicato dos Metroviários) accused the government for having outsourced the repairs of the trains to a cartel of private companies including Alstom and Siemens. These companies have been accused of winning the contract through bribing politicians linked to the governor of São Paulo, the infamous ‘propinoduto’ scandal. This cartel who have embezzled public money are the culprits of the chaos which passengers in São Paulo have experienced.
Instead of accepting responsibility, the state governor Geraldo Alckmin tried to put the blame on the “vandalism” of passengers. The people of São Paulo are tired of having to travel on overcrowded trains in temperatures of over 40° C.
In 1990 the Metro in São Paulo transported 1.5 million passengers per day with over 10 thousand staff. Twenty years later 3.5 million passengers travel on the metro daily, but there are only 9 thousand staff.
The metro workers want to establish an alliance with passengers to denounce the real culprits for the precariousness of public transport: lack of investment, corruption in the PSDB (the ruling party in the state of São Paulo) government and the low number of staff.
That is why the trade union of metro workers (Sindicato dos Metroviários) is calling for everyone to join the rally this Thursday 13 February at 4:30 pm in Vale do Anhangabaú in the city of São Pau
Orlando was born in Brazil and was involved in the successful struggle for democracy in the late 1970s and 80s in that country. He teaches A level Economics. He is a member of the NEU, Counterfire and Stop the War.
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