Santos Strikes Test Shippers, Brazil Government

Customs officers in the Brazilian port of Santos have struck for two days straight, testing the mettle of the new President, who has vowed that the government would not pay striking workers for time spent off the job. The cumulative effects of the strikes have caused steady delays at Santos, with 20,000 containers held up over the past six weeks, costing exporters 4.1 million reals ($1.12 million), according to the Santos and Sao Paulo Shipagents Association, or Sindamar. The cost to all shippers is believed to be 1 billion reals. The strikes have also slowed cargo movements between terminals on the two banks of the river port, with shipping agents saying that it now takes 15 days to get such transfers completed compared with four days before the unrest.