Rio Airport Workers' Strike Broken by Massive Fines on Eve of World Cup

Rio de Janeiro airport workers had planned to strike Thursday in order to maximize their outreach and effectiveness. However, their plans fell apart after a court threatened massive fines if they didn't return to work immediately.

According to the Brazilian state-run airport company Infraero and Brazil airline association ABREAR, no flights were cancelled or delayed because of the initial strike on Wednesday. The airline workers' union said that 80 percent of its baggage handlers and 70 percent of its airline workers remained working in preparation for the big tournament.

According to the ANAC civil aviation agency, the court threatened to fine the labor union 500,000 Brazilian reais ($223,900) for every hour the strike continued. The union responded quickly, telling its workers to get back on the job, according to a spokesperson.

Rio de Janeiro expects to bring in 554,000 visitors from within the country and 90,000 around the world to take part in the World Cup festivities. The tournament runs from June 12 to July 13.

Sao Paulo will host the first game of the World Cup Thursday at 4:00 p.m. Eastern time, with Brazil hosting Croatia.


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