Strike continues at Rio Olympic venues despite apparent settlement
RIO DE JANEIRO — The two-week strike at Rio de Janeiro’s main Olympic complex continued Wednesday despite an apparent settlement.
Rio Mais, the consortium building the venues at Olympic Park, said in a statement that about 300 workers showed up for work on Wednesday, but were told by labor union leaders to walk off the job again.
The strike, which began April 3, affects about 2,300 workers.
The consortium said an agreement with striking workers had been reached on Tuesday. Workers are seeking increased salaries and more benefits.
Chronic delays in Rio have prompted the International Olympic Committee to dispatch a senior troubleshooter to help resolve the holdups plaguing South America’s first Olympics.
Work in Rio is behind schedule with many comparing it to Brazil’s upcoming World Cup, and Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes said has said workers must make up all the lost time.
"I have my own problems," Paes said Wednesday. "I pay my workers. If they (consortium) don’t pay theirs, it’s there problem."
Work in Rio has yet to begin at the second largest cluster of venues in an area of northern Rio called Deodoro, and construction of a golf course is also far behind schedule.
Work to clean up severe pollution in Guanabara Bay, the sailing venue, also faces delays and doubts about water quality with a test event set for August.
IOC officials, speaking last week at the SportAccord convention in Turkey, refused to rule out moving the games from Rio, although the move is considered very unlikely.
IOC officials are saying the organizational problems in Rio are worse than they were for the 2004 Athens Games, generally considered the benchmark for organizational disorder.