Portugal strikes

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 15-11-2012 09:40:00 · 0 Comments
Portugal strikes

Tens of thousands of workers laid down their tools on Wednesday to join in a day-long general strike. The worst affected area was transport, with commuters in urban areas forced to make alternative travel arrangements.

Portugal woke up to another general strike on Wednesday, which wasmost noticeable in the transport area, with workers demonstrating against the government’s austerity plans. Sister strikes were also being held in Spain, Italy and Greece.
The Federation of Transport and Communications Unions said there was “great participation” of the strikes with the Lisbon underground closed and an almost complete stoppage of the trains, buses and ferries.”
The Lisbon underground closed its doors a bit before midnight Tuesday whereas on normal days the last trains run until 1 o’clock in the morning.
In Lisbon, train operator CP’s most serious problem was vandalism of several trains in Barreiro station that had their brake lines cut.
CP spokeswoman Ana Portela said most minimum services were running though in Oporto 10 of the 14 minimum services were cancelled due to pickets.
The Oporto light rail system was running minimum services even though all union members were out on strike.

The city’s bus company STCP was at a stand still with no buses on the streets.
The leader of the National Bus drivers’ Union, Jorge Costa said he did not know what would happen later in the day as the police were trying to talk the pickets into allowing the minimum services to leave the garage.
Hospitals were also being affected with over 90 percent of the workers on strike at several centres and only minimum services were being guaranteed.
Refuse collection in Lisbon was practically paralysed with only two of the usual 121 refuse trucks working the night shift while in other outlying councils the participation was 100 percent.
Portuguese flag-carrier TAP Air Portugal cancelled 173 of the 360 flights it had scheduled for Wednesday, the company announced.
The airline said it hoped to be able to operate more flights than just the minimums ordered by the Arbitration Court.
TAP noted however that the flights also depended on other services like “security, fire-fighters and air traffic controllers”.
Several airlines have said they would cancel flights on Wednesday due to a general strike called by unions in Portugal, Spain and Italy.
TAP Air Portugal had advised passengers booked on flights on 14 November to alter their flight dates “to avoid inconvenience.”
The airline said that it would only be able to judge “the specific consequences the strike would have on its operations”, on the day.
Eight civil aviation unions have said they will be out on strike on 14 November to “defend Portugal and the workers they represent”.



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