Hundreds of prison workers storm Brazilian Justice Ministry (VIDEO)

Hundreds of prison workers storm Brazilian Justice Ministry (VIDEO)
Nearly 500 Brazilian prison system workers took over the Ministry of Justice building in the capital, Brasilia, to protest the inclusion of correctional workers in the government’s pension reforms, slated to raise the retirement age and reduce benefits.

The demonstrators, who had brought bottles of water and mattresses with them, stormed the building on Tuesday afternoon, saying they were ready to remain there until their demands were met. National Public Security Force agents surrounded the entrance and prevented other protesters from entering.

“We have just occupied the Justice Ministry. And we’re going to be here until lawmakers take us out of their bill,” France 24 cited the head of the Sao Paulo corrections union branch, Fabio Cesar Ferreira, as saying.

The protesters demanded that the retirement age for penitentiary workers be set at 55, the same as for civil and federal police officers due to professional risk.

The protesters demanded that the retirement age for penitentiary workers be set at 55, the same as for civil and federal police officers due to professional risk.

"We are in a horrible daily routine inside and outside the jails and prisons, in a degrading, unhealthy and unsafe workplace. How can we be included in the same rules as all of Brazil's workers?" Ferreira added.

Local Congressman Lincoln Portela said that “there must be some understanding from the federal government [and] a profound evaluation” of the situation.

There should also be “respect for those operators that are [conducting] the second most dangerous profession in the world," Portela said, as quoted by RT’s Ruptly news agency.

The protesters dispersed at around 9pm local time after the authorities promised to negotiate new terms.

President Michel Temer’s pension bill proposes to raise the minimum retirement age to 65 for men and 62 for women, as well as to curb pension spending, which already stands at 12 percent of GDP.

READ MORE: Anti-austerity protesters clash with police, block roads, start fires in Rio (VIDEOS, PHOTOS)

Aimed at boosting the national economy, Temer’s austerity plan has instead sparked violence, with strikes staged in Rio de Janeiro earlier this month.

According to a statement by the Sao Paulo corrections union branch, lawmakers promised to support their claims at a session next week.