In Rio de Janeiro, crowds blocked roads, set fire to buses and vandalized stores in protest against President Michel Temer’s pension reform proposals, the BBC broadcaster reported.
The president deplored chaos in the streets of Rio, but stressed his government would press on with its "efforts to modernize the country," according to the outlet.
Roads were also blocked in Sao Paolo. Huge crowds of people were seen marching on the president’s residence after dawn with banners that read "Temer Out." Police fired tear gas to break up the mobs.
The general strike, reportedly the first one in two decades, was called after the Brazilian government unveiled its plans to raise the retirement age and cut pension benefits in a bid to trim budget expenses, which it said were weighing the national economy down.