Brazilian Shippers Suffer National Customs Slowdown, Santos Strike Ahead Of Olympics

Brazilian shippers are suffering from a double whammy of industrial action this week as customs officials start a nationwide slowdown and dockworkers strike at the port of Santos with the Olympics just weeks away. Customs officials of the Receita Federal in Rio de Janeiro and throughout the country have started slowdowns to force the interim president wage increase promised by President Dilma Rousseff. Latin America’s busiest container port of Santos has not yet resolved a running dispute involving wages and the distribution of labor among labor pools.

The customs slowdowns were approved by the National Brazilian Union for Customs Officers, which called for an indefinite strike from Thursday after balloting its members earlier this week. Promises from the Temer government to speed up negotiations resulted in Sindifisco saying they will instead carry out slowdowns every Thursday and Tuesday until they get their way.

The slowdowns are already being felt as sources said that 700 containers are stuck at terminals in the Amazon river port of Manaus because of the work actions. The nearby Manaus free trade zone is a big producer of electronic goods for domestic consumption such as televisions.

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