RIO DE JANEIRO - Construction workers
refurbishing the giant Maracana stadium for the 2014 World Cup
finals went on strike after one of their colleagues was badly
burnt in an on-site explosion on Wednesday, the workers' union
The worker's legs were also injured when an oil barrel with
chemical residue exploded on Wednesday morning and he had been
rushed to the city's Souza Aguiar hospital, the union added.
"We must improve our working conditions which are not ideal.
We'll only return to work when our demands have been heard,"
union director Romildo da Silva told Reuters.
Hundreds of workers held a demonstration outside the stadium
to draw attention to their demands, which also include higher
pay and health care. Up to 1,500 people work on the stadium in
The contractor said the workers had "interrupted reforms at
the Maracana in the early afternoon."
"These are labour issues that are being analysed by the
consortium in charge of the work," Rio de Janeiro State Public
Works said in a statement.
The famed Maracana will stage Confederations Cup matches in
2013 and is expected to host the World Cup final a year later.
The renovations have been estimated at one billion reais ($630
Brazil's World Cup preparations have previously been hit by
In June, workers renovating the Mineirao stadium that will
host World Cup matches in Belo Horizonte, capital of the
southern central state of Minas Gerais, went on strike for four
days demanding better pay and conditions.
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