Portuguese workers strike against Blairite cuts

COUNCIL AND local government workers in Portugal are striking on 13
and 14 December against the Blairite ‘socialist’ government’s vicious
attacks on their rights, working conditions and living standards.

José David Gregório,
Alternativa Socialista – Portugal

The national strike was a proposal taken from the floor after dozens
of workers’ meetings held by Lisbon Council Workers’ Unions, where
members of Alternativa Socialista, the CWI group in Portugal, played a
key role.

Workers are angry at the Blairite Partido Socialista’s (PS) enormous
attacks on public-sector workers. From increasing the age for pension
entitlement from 60 to 65 years, to refusing to begin national wage
negotiations and trying to use public-sector workers as scapegoats for
the Portuguese state’s financial crises, the PS government is trying to
go further on privatising public services and cutting union and workers’
rights not only in the public sector but also in the private sector.

This strike is the highpoint of a Struggle Week called by CGTP, the
main Portuguese TUC. Demos, rallies and strikes are expected, in
opposition to the cuts and attacks on the working class supported by
bankers and big capital to ‘save the Portuguese economy’.

Workers refuse to pay for financial crises caused by big business’
greedy search for profits.

Portuguese society is sitting on a volcano of social unrest. The main
reason why there has not already been an explosion is the lack of a
militant stand from the leadership of labour unions and left parties.

This national strike is, however, a good step to building workers’
resistance to the plans of the capitalists and bosses’ government.