Portugal: Public sector workers strike against cuts

The Portuguese public sector workers are today on a 24 hour general strike.

They are fighting against the neo-liberal reforms of the ‘Public Administration’ and against wage cuts that the Liberal-Conservative Government of Durão Barroso is trying to impose on the nearly 700,000 workers of the public sector.

All over the country, council workers, nurses, teachers, school staff and clerks are taking action in response to a joint strike call by all the unions of the public services – the CGTP (‘communist’) union federation, the UGT (the largest one) and the independent unions. 

This afternoon there is also a national Education March in Lisbon to protest at the government’s neo-liberal plans in that sector. 

In the run-up to today’s public sector strike, a member of the CWI spoke at several shop-floor meetings. He emphasised the need for a more militant approach by the trade unions and got an enthusiastic response. He spoke of the need to build a serious general strike that brings together public and private sector workers against the vicious attacks of the government and the bosses. 

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January 2004