Brazil’s central bank employees voted on Monday for an indefinite strike starting on April 1 due to unanswered wage increases.
Brazil’s central bank employees on Friday launched an indefinite strike for a pay rise, threatening the stability of the hugely popular Pix instant payment system and other data releases.
With double-digit inflation in Brazil, strikes in the public sector have become more widespread in recent months, disrupting the government’s day-to-day operations and causing headaches for President Jair Bolsonaro as he seeks re-election in October.
The strike is taking place while central bank governor Roberto Campos Neto is on a pre-scheduled vacation in Miami.
Brazil’s central bank employees voted on Monday for an indefinite strike starting on April 1 due to unanswered wage increases. Until now, partial closures have affected the release of economic indicators and other data.
Fabio Faiad, president of the workers’ union SINAL, said in a statement on Friday that he expects 60-70 percent of workers to hold the strike, which could affect Pix and other data releases such as the Focus survey of economists.
In his statement on Friday, Faiad lamented the timing of Campos Neto’s holiday.
“Unfortunately, during such an important moment, the president of the central bank went on holiday to Miami, which does not help us at all to find a solution to this crisis,” Faiad said.
Campos Neto, who has been on holiday since Thursday, met with workers’ representatives on Tuesday, but Faiad said the meeting was “a failure,” with no proposals.
The central bank did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The central bank’s Pix payment system was a great success in Brazil, winning international acclaim. The system is free for individuals and allows immediate payments and transfers.
Just 15 months after its launch, it was used by 114 million individuals in Brazil – 67 percent of the adult population – who moved 6.7 trillion reais ($ 1.36 trillion) and recently surpassed the level of credit and debit cards.