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Airport staff threatens to go on strike before Pan Am Games
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09:06, July 06, 2007

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The staff of some of Brazil's airports announced on Thursday that they will go on strike on July 11, which can threaten the arrival of country delegations and tourists for the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, starting on July 13.

Employees at airports in the states of Sao Paulo and Amazonas gathered to request a pay rise of 33.25 percent. They claim that it would make up for the devaluation their salaries have suffered since 1994, when the government kicked off the financial plan that created the country's currency Real.

State-owned Enterprise of Airport Infrastructure (Infraero), which runs the Brazilian airports, offered a four-percent rise, which was refused.

According to the President of the Airport Employees' National Union (SINA), Jose Gomes de Alencar, the strike will affect services like luggage check-in and check-out, maintenance and air traffic control.

Although it was the sixth time that the workers have gathered to discuss the increase in wages, Alencar stressed that the entity is still open to negotiate.

"We do not wish to put anyone against the wall, but the government needs to understand that this group is important," he said.

The employees who agreed to join the movement work at the airports of Cumbica, in Sao Paulo's metropolitan region; Viracopos, in Sao Paulo's countryside; and Eduardo Gomes, in the Amazon rainforest region.

Rio de Janeiro's airports' staff will hold an assembly with SINA on Monday July 9.

Altogether, the country's airports rely on 10,500 employees.

Source: Xinhua

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