Latin America & Caribbean

Brazil federal police get 16% pay rise to avert strike

Federal police wearing T-shirts that read in Portuguese "SOS Federal Police" cover their mouths with bandanas in Rio de Janeiro on 7 May, 2014 Image copyright AP
Image caption Federal police officers had threatened to strike during the World Cup

The Brazilian government is offering federal police officers a 15.8% pay rise to avert a strike during the forthcoming football World Cup.

Under the deal, federal police agents will receive a 12% salary increase from July, and another 3.8% rise in January.

The agreement follows police strikes earlier this year in which an estimated 250,000 agents took part.

Preparations for the World Cup - which starts on 12 June - have been beset by anti-government protests and stoppages.

Brazil's federal police, which conducts criminal investigations and combats drug trafficking and terrorism, is also in charge of security at the country's borders and airports.

'No strike'

The trade union representing federal officers, Fenapef, welcomed the offer and said it had suspended its planned strike action "before, during and after the Cup and before the [general] election" on 5 October 2014.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Strikes by the police as well as teachers and civil servants have caused disruption in the run-up to the World Cup

Fenapef President Jones Borges Leal said the government had also agreed to set up a working group to discuss officers' career progression, another key demand.

The salary increase will also apply to typists and forensic teams, union officials said.

Last month state police forces went on strike over pay in at least 14 Brazilian states, and there have also been stoppages by teachers and civil servants.

The government has boosted security in all of the 12 host venues, with up to 20,000 security personnel deployed to Rio de Janeiro to guarantee safety during the World Cup final on 13 July.

The government is keen to prevent a repeat of the mass protests held during the Confederations Cup last year, many of which descended into violence.

More than a million people took to the streets at the time protesting against corruption and what they considered to be excessive spending on the preparations for the World Cup.

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