The leader of the Trade Union, Offices and Services of Portugal (CESP) Ana Paula Rodrigues told Lusa that the Braga Business Association has “systematically declined to sit at the table” to negotiate a new contract.

“From this, it immediately follows that the majority of workers saw their wages absorbed by the National Minimum Wage, with neither seniority nor qualifications obtained in the exercise of the profession being valued”, she said.

On Friday, the workers will also hold a demonstration at the door of the Associação Empresarial de Braga.

Contacted by Lusa, the president of the Braga Business Association, Domingos Macedo Barbosa, said that there is a contract signed in 2020 with the Trade, Offices and Services Workers Union of Minho (CESMINHO), stressing that this position of CESP suggests “a war of territorial domination”.

"We have a collective contract signed with several associations in Minho, we're satisfied with it, we don't have anything to renegotiate with anyone, much less when, it seems, there's only a war of unions at stake, a war of dominance of the territory”, he said.

Domingos Barbosa also regretted the time chosen by CESP for the strike, “in the midst of a pandemic crisis”, with companies “fighting for survival”.

“At this point, what worries me, and what should worry us all, is knowing where the support for companies comes from”, he stressed.

For CESP, the collective labour contract in force is “outdated” and is “disadvantageous” for workers.

“Most are receiving the minimum wage”, emphasised Ana Paula Rodrigues.

She also said that the meal subsidy is €2.50, an amount that she considers “insufficient for a decent meal”.

“Until 2020, they paid only €1.90, a completely ridiculous amount”, she stressed.

In addition, the union adds that the current contract does not contemplate any compensation for work performed during the weekend."

Therefore, they demand a new contract that includes, from the outset, salary increases “that values work and workers”.

The proposed amount for the increase is €90.