Strikes: Rough Times Down Rio Way

Rough Times Down Rio Way

For the better part of a year, President Jose Sarney of Brazil has taken a hard line on economic policy. His current goal: to combat runaway consumer spending, which threatens to boost imports and weaken Brazil's trade balance. To rein in the boom, Sarney last month raised taxes and increased prices on consumer items. Since then, labor leaders have demonstrated against Sarney, but the President has stood firm.

Last week Brazil's two leading unions tried to mount a major protest against Sarney's program, calling for a 24-hour general strike. Union officials argued that workers were hit the hardest by Sarney's reforms,...

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