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Brazil bus drivers go on strike in Rio

IANS  |  Rio de Janeiro 

Bus drivers in Rio de Janeiro, one of 12 cities hosting the upcoming 2014 World Cup, are on a two-day strike, demanding higher pay.

The strike is the second in less than a week by bus drivers in Rio, one of Brazil's leading tourism destinations and has pushed the city into chaos as commuters struggled to get to work, reported Xinhua.

According to officials, barely 10 percent of the city's bus fleet were operating Tuesday, forcing authorities to increase subway and train services.

Bus drivers are demanding a 40 percent pay rise, an amount rebuffed by bus companies.

Last week, bus drivers' union and bus companies agreed to a 10 percent pay rise, which was rejected by drivers as insufficient. They then declared a 24-hour strike last Thursday that saw some 460 buses vandalized and damaged.

A loss of bus service could cause serious chaos as many areas of the city with a population of 7 million rely on buses.

The 2014 FIFA World Cup will be held from June 12 to July 13.

Rio is set to host seven World Cup matches, including the final, and public transportation is essential to guaranteeing spectators will be able to get to the games, as private vehicles will be banned from the vicinity of the city's main venue of Maracana Stadium.

First Published: Wed, May 14 2014. 09:36 IST