The organisers of Brazil's 24 hour strike against the government's economic policies on July 21 said that 90% of Sao Paulo's metalwork production had been halted.
(MUTE) GV Ford factory in Sao Paulo, closed (2 shots)
SVs Striking workers gather in city
(SOUND) SV Union leader Inacio da Silva and other unionists at meeting (3 shots)
SV Police arrest and search strikers (3 shots)
GV People chant in street
GVs Police and crowds in streets (6 shots)
GV Police chase people in street
GV Arrested man escorted by police
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Background: The organisers of Brazil's 24 hour strike against the government's economic policies on July 21 said that 90% of Sao Paulo's metalwork production had been halted. However, the Brazilian government and the Sao Paulo industries federation (FIESP) disputed the trade unions' account. Labour Minister Murilo Macedo called it a total failure, while a FIESP spokesman said activity in the city's key metalworking industries, Brazil's most important, was at 60 per cent of normal. But union leaders said they had achieved their aims in the protests aimed against official policies which recently removed one fifth of the worker's purchasing power. The recent government announcement allowing wages to rise to only four-fifths the rate of inflation brought a breakthrough in crucial negotiations with the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and caused relief among world bankers who had feared a financial collapse in Brazil, faced with a foreign debt of 90 billion U.S. dollars, the world's largest. In Sao Paulo, home of the country's important auto and engineering trades, Reuters reported no serious violence, but there were several small, low-key incidents between the police and groups of demonstrators. Union officials said that up to 300 people had been detained throughout the day. In the country's second city, Rio de Janeiro, Reuters reported that only the 17,000 strong shipbuilding workers union supported the strike.