Subway strike suspended in Sao Paulo, may hit Rio

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 10, 2014 at 9:22 pm •  Published: June 10, 2014
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SAO PAULO (AP) — With a subway strike put on hold, traffic in Brazil's biggest city returned to its normal, congested nature Tuesday, but there was no guarantee service would be on for Thursday's opening of the World Cup.

Subway workers in Rio de Janeiro, meanwhile, were holding an assembly to vote on whether they would strike to demand higher wages, threatening to disrupt transportation. By late Tuesday night there was no announcement of their decision.

Both situations are deeply worrying for World Cup organizers. They're counting on the subway systems to carry tens of thousands of fans to the games. The problem is a bigger worry for Sao Paulo, where the Itaquerao stadium is far from the hotel areas where most Cup tourists will stay.

Union workers in Sao Paulo suspended their strike for two days, but planned to vote again Wednesday to decide whether to renew it. If they do, the subway system would grind to a halt on Thursday just as Brazil's national soccer team faces Croatia in the Cup's opening match.

Sao Paulo's Metropolitan Transportation agency said it has a "Plan B" — yet refused to say exactly what that would entail.

"We will only give details if and when the workers go on strike again," an agency official said, insisting he couldn't give his name because he wasn't allowed to speak to the press about the issue.

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