Top Brazil Port to Boycott US, UK Ships
SAO PAULO, Brazil (Reuters - 17 March) - Labor unions at Santos, the largest port in
Brazil and Latin America, are planning a 24-hour strike for peace by
boycotting ships and goods under the U.S. or British banner, a union
official said on Monday.
"Labor unions from Santos will meet to vote on proposals on how to voice
our desire for peace and our distaste over the coming war in Iraq," said,
Marcos Duarte, the president of the Urban Unions of Santos.
Representatives from 70 unions, including the petroleum, chemical,
banking, shipping and metallurgical industries, should attend the
meeting, set for Tuesday morning, said Duarte, who added that many had
expressed firm support for the strike.
"We don't know when we will hold the strike but we will vote on proposals
tomorrow," he said. "I want to stress that the strike would not be a
protest against the United States or Britain but rather against war and
The various unions in Santos will vote on proposals to suspend the
loading and unloading of all ships bearing U.S. or British flags and to
boycott all consumer goods from the two countries for 24 hours.
"We are proposing that no adherent to the strike drink a Coca-Cola or go
into a McDonald's for lunch," said Duarte.
He said the idea came from local TV reports showing U.S. and British bar
owners pouring French wine onto the streets in protest of France's threat
to veto a new U.N. resolution that would give the go-ahead to a U.S.-led
war in Iraq.
The protest was not a nationally organized movement and would only cover
the municipality of Santos, said Duarte, but he hoped that other groups
would follow suit in solidarity.
The port of Santos accounts for about 30 percent of the country's foreign
commerce. The government and people of Brazil, Latin America's most
populous country, overwhelmingly oppose a war in Iraq.