Since last Friday (24th), when the subway workers’ strike in São Paulo ended, the president of the union, Camila Lisboa, has received death threats. By this Tuesday (28), at least three had arrived, all from far-right profiles on Instagram, via private messages.
The São Paulo Subway Union also received an email threatening an attack on its headquarters. In addition, the entity claims that images of leaders acting during the stoppage and their profiles on social networks are being published in Bolsonarist groups, “with curses and hateful messages against the strike”.
“The threats we receive are not from angry passengers because they didn’t take the subway. They carry a political discourse of criminalizing the strike and defending the privatization of rail transport, as is the speech of the governor (Tarcísio de Freitas)”, denounces Lisboa, defending the state government to comment on it. “There were movements characteristic of the ‘hate office’, it was an orchestrated action”, he points out.
:: Metrô strike: the day São Paulo almost had a free turnstile, but Tarcísio prevented it::
The union registered an electronic report on the case and should reaffirm it on Wednesday (29), with a face-to-face trip together with parliamentarians and supporters to the Cyber Crimes Police Station.
According to Lisboa, protective measures have been taken and will be intensified, but, so far, they have been taken by “supporters of the fight” and not by authorities. The union demands that the “Public Power and Justice” take measures in favor of the protection of union leaders and the investigation, investigation and accountability of those involved in the threats.
In a note, the organization states that the threats to the president carry “serious misogynistic (hatred of women) and racist content, characteristic of the extreme right” and that they will not silence them. “The subway category will continue its struggle for rights, for quality public transport and for free turnstiles”, they announce.
“Anyone can have the opinion that it was not right to go on strike, but no one can threaten the rights of the workers and the union that led the subway workers’ strike. It cannot be that the workers and the unions are inhibited and persecuted because chose to fight”, points out Camila.
The subway workers’ strike was one of the first direct clashes with Tarcísio de Freitas (Republicans) since he took over the government of São Paulo, at the beginning of the year. Tarcísio is openly a Bolsonarist – at the beginning of the year, in an interview with Young panreaffirmed having “no shame” to be.
Camila Lisboa was one of the main public figures of the category during Thursday (23) and Friday (24) when the strike impacted the city of São Paulo and received media coverage. Triggering the stoppage at 00:00 on Thursday, subway workers demanded the payment of salary bonuses, the revocation of dismissals due to retirement and new hires.
More than that, explains Lisboa, the stoppage was due to a worsening of working conditions “and the disrespect with which we have been treated by the government in recent years.
As a mobilization alternative that put pressure on the state government to meet the demands without harming the population, the union proposed that the category work with 100% staff, as long as the population did not pay the ticket fee.
Governor Tarcísio de Freitas announced – including on his Twitter – that he accepted the proposal and the turnstiles would be released. But with the strikers positioned at their jobs, the state-owned company did not give operational authorization for the trains to circulate. Metrô and the government said that there would be a free turnstile at the same time that they called the courts to prohibit it – and they did so, on the morning of that Thursday (23).
Faced with what they characterized as a “coup” and “betrayal”, the subway workers continued with their arms crossed until the morning of the next day (24) when, in a fierce assembly, they chose to accept a proposal from the company that accepted part of the claims.
In the end, the Companhia do Metropolitano de São Paulo (Metrô) committed to pay BRL 2 thousand for the salary bonus for the years 2020, 2021 and 2022 (workers asked for BRL 7.5 thousand); to institute the 2023 Profit Sharing Program; and not to punish anyone for participating in the strike.
The union president stated that, soon, the category will start a day of fights for wage campaign and in articulation with other workers against privatizations in the state of São Paulo. “The indignation follows, it is fair and it has increased with these threats”, she exposes. “If it is necessary to hold a general strike in the state of São Paulo to prevent the privatization of Tarcísio, we will do it”, she emphasizes.
Editing: Rodrigo Durão Coelho
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