Protest over President Michel Temer’s austerity measures are crippling public transport in several major cities, and many factories, businesses and schools are closed, including in major tourist areas.
Police have barricaded protesters from entering airports (some flights were delayed and cancelled earlier) and are trying to clear up roadways.
Brazil has not had a nationwide strike in over 20 years. The current protests are not yet at the ‘nationwide strike’ level, but threaten to get there, according to union leaders.
Temer assumed power after former President Dilma Rousseff was ousted. Temer was then vice president.
The cause of the protests: Brazil’s lower house passed a labor reform bill many see as undermining workers’ rights by eliminating payment for their commute from their contractors, reducing compensation for employer abuse, and allowing reduction of salaries and increasing hours.