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New Solut. 2001;11(1):63-80.

Robbers aboard: workplace violence and (in)security in public transport in Salvador, Brazil.

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USMASS Lowell, MA 01854, USA.


This paper examines the impact of violent crime on the working conditions, health, and security of bus drivers and bus conducters in the public transport system of Salvador, Brazil. The research included in-depth extensive interviews with workers, labor union officials, users, managers, and police. The typical social profile of offenders is as poor, unemployed youths, mostly without criminal records, seeking easy money mainly for leisure pursuits. Takes are minimal. We observed a pattern of bus robbery as a psychological power-game which for the bus workers, apart from physical injuries and fatalities, generates fear, identity conflicts, tense relations with users, and labor conflicts regarding the recuperation of stolen fares and worker and user security issues. We outline and evaluate the efficiency of security measures, including the use of lethal force by police.

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