A strike to protest pension reform in Brazil is in its second week, and it is reported that approximately 900,000 civil servants have not shown up for work. Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has made pension proposals that would cut benefits for workers in powerful government employee unions. Before being elected president, da Silva was an important labor leader who fought against cutting pensions, and many who voted for him now feel betrayed. Economic analysts say that pension reform may be the only way to fix Brazil's debt problems.
See Patrice M. Jones, Chicago Tribune, July 17, 2003