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October 27, 2016

Brazil Internal Revenue Service Agents Strike in Greater Sao Paulo

Brazilian Internal Revenue Service agents in the greater Sao Paulo metropolitan area went on strike Tuesday in a dispute over salaries and professional regulations. The strike is impacting the Port of Santos and airports in the region. The union representing the agents indicated that 70% of its 2,500 members are participating in the work stoppage. The union has scheduled a meeting for next Thursday, November 3rd, to evaluate the effectiveness of the strike and to determine future actions.

The Port of Santos is the largest port in Latin America and Brazil's number one grain exporting facility. The function of the agents at the port is to authorize imports and exports as far as taxes and fiscal matters are concerned. The port continues to function, but at a reduced capacity. Passenger movement at the region's airports has not been impacted, but the processing of cargo has been impacted. There have been a series of sporadic work stoppages in recent months leading up to this week's more general strike.

The Port of Santos is the most important port for corn exports from the state of Mato Grosso. According to the Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea), the Port of Santos handled 68% of the corn exports from the state during the month of September, which was up from 62% in August.

Imea indicated that the Port of Barcarena near the city of Belem at the mouth of the Amazon River was the second most important port responsible for 15% of Mato Grosso's corn exports.

Numerous unions representing public servants in Brazil are either on strike or in the midst of work slowdowns in protest to cuts in public spending. In fact, the Brazilian Congress is currently debating legislation that would place new limits on public spending for at least the next decade. These work stoppages are impacting everything from university professors, to public safety, to agricultural research.