Tens of thousands of workers across Brazil have walked off their jobs in a nationwide strike demanding better working conditions and improved public services in Latin America's biggest nation.

Organized by Brazil's biggest trade union federations, strikers are partially or completely blocking 17 highways in seven states.

Some schools have closed and some hospitals are operating with skeleton crews. But subway, bus and train workers in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and other state capitals did not join the strike and transportation services function normally.

The strike follows mass nationwide protests hit Brazil last month.

The strikers are demanding better public transit, health and education services, agricultural reform and a reduced work week.