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The Brazil mobilisation in support of demands for a reduction of the 40-hour working week without reductions in income, defence of collective bargaining in the public sector, and the provision of quality public services, particularly in education, health and transport. Health workers have been particularly hard hit by government cuts, with some workers not having received a pay rise for more than ten years. The Brazilian unions have been particularly critical of manipulation by conservative forces, including much of the country’s media, of recent demonstrations which originated in demands around public transport fares and provision.
In Chile, the national strike organised by the trade union centre CUT attracted strong support from national student groups. Specific demands of the CUT include an overhaul to the pension system in favor of a state-run program as well as a 30 percent increase in the current minimum wage. Both the CUT and student groups have stressed the importance of unified action to achieve much-needed reforms, including tackling massive and growing inequality. The country is plagued by an expensive education system that many deem unfair.
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