The Correios workers around here have been on strike a lot since we arrived. From the news articles I've read, they've been striking on and off for over a year. It has pretty much stopped making the news now. They want higher wages, and maybe more, but I am mostly gathering that they don't think they get paid enough. The crazy thing is, I don't think anyone hardly even notices when they're not working. Hardly any serious business is handled through their mail system. If you have important documents to deliver, you send it by DHL or other private carrier; if it is just within your city, you call a motoboy (guy on a motorcycle) to pick it up and deliver it. Bills arrive in the mail, but you can't mail your payment in. You have to go to the bank to pay your bills. We really get nothing more than a couple bills (the others are hand delivered to our apartment building) and bank statements in the mail. (Well that and the occasional card or package from the US.) But really, for the most part, nobody seems to care if they are delivering mail or not.
Just the same, a big gaggle of 'em came marching down my street yesterday and they put on a pretty good show. It kept me from my work for at least 15 minutes.
The VW van with speakers strapped to the top broadcast the main speaker quite well! I heard them long before I ever saw them!I couldn't figure out what this fake coffin deal was about. (I think the guy's red flag explained it, but with him waving it around and what not, I couldn't ever quite read it all.)
I found it rather funny that they had a police escort in front and behind them: cars stayed back for awhile, but then they got impatient and started driving through the protesters. The police (as usual) just watched. What's the point of a police escort during a "parade" if they don't keep the cars from running over the people in the street?
And in case you're curious what protesting sounds like in Portuguese:
And in this one you can hear all the frustrated drivers honking and then see them start driving through the crowd.