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Postal Workers Go On Strike

May 10, 1985

SAO PAULO, Brazil (AP) _ Thousands of postal workers in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro walked out Friday because a promised pay raise was delayed, backing up millions of pieces of mail in Brazil’s two largest cities.

Jose Roberto Ribeiro, an official of the Sao Paulo postal service said 15,500 postal employees were on strike here, ″completely stopping delivery of about 4 million mail items a day.″

In Rio, Joel Marciano Rauber, director of that city’s postal service, said 10,000 employees were out and a daily average of 758,000 items would not be delivered.

It was the second mail strike in two months and began because the postal service ″did not keep its promise of a 30 percent pay increase made last March,″ said Edivaldo Dias, a spokesman for the Sao Paulo Mailmen’s Association.

Ribeiro, of the Sao Paulo postal service, said the raise would not start until Wednesday because of a ″lack of funds″ that he did not describe further.

Dias said, ″Now we want a 70 percent pay increase and a 40-hour work week.″ He said the average pay for a mailman in a 48-hour week was the equivalent of about $160 a month.

Sao Paulo mailmen also want quarterly wage adjustments because of inflation that is running at well above 200 percent in Brazil, and a two-year guarantee against dismissals. Wage adjustments now are made twice a year.

Wilson Couto, president of Rio de Janeiro’s Mailmen’s Association, said his members would return to work if the 30 percent pay increase promised in March starts by Wednesday.

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