The wave of strikes is increasing in Portugal, despite the union’s attempt to stifle it

The wave of strikes is increasing in Portugal, despite the union’s attempt to stifle it

The beginning of 2023 saw an escalation in the class struggle against the Socialist Party government in Portugal. With the deepest crisis of global capitalism since the 1930s, the Socialist Party is trying to impose austerity and war economy costs on the working class, with the help of trade union bureaucracies.

Demonstration by teachers in Lisbon, Portugal, in January 2023. [Photo: Maureen Danovsky, M. Ed @MaureenDano]

The Portuguese workers’ struggle is fueled by the same international crisis that has driven millions of workers across Europe to protest against rising prices and falling wages. In France, this led to a direct confrontation between the working class and Macron’s government.

In Portugal, strikes spread across the country and to almost all sectors of the working class. In the first quarter of the year, strikes increased by 148.1 percent in the private sector and 112.9 percent in the public sector compared to 2022. They have continued into the second quarter, as union bureaucracies seek to end one strike after another.

Portuguese hospital technicians and assistants went on strike on 19 May, demanding better working conditions and recognition of their special expertise in the career advancement system. According to the unions, more than 90% of the sector’s 30,000 workers joined the strike, not to mention those on whom the Socialist Party government imposed a reactionary minimum service.

The Portuguese Nurses Association has been subject to a minimum obligation to serve. He is now trying to break up the struggle by announcing two new strike dates, June 28 and 30, more than a month after the first day of the strike.

Portuguese public sector pharmacists will go on strike on June 22, 27 and 30 to protest low wages and precarious working conditions.

A call to strike was widely followed by judicial officials, paralyzing more than 10,000 court cases. Last month, 100% of EasyJet’s cabin crew also went on strike. More than 380 flights have been cancelled.

Railway workers will strike on Wednesday to demand an increase in their wages and working conditions. Rail network operator Comboios de Portugal (CP) has warned of “serious disruptions” to rail traffic between 30 May and 1 June due to the strike.

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About the Author: Irene Alves

"Bacon ninja. Guru do álcool. Explorador orgulhoso. Ávido entusiasta da cultura pop."

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