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24 May 2016

Brutal bosses' attack on striking Lisbon dockers

The Lisbon Port Operators Association, which represents the interests of the companies operating in the Lisbon port, has decided, in a completely horrendous and desperate attack, to start a collective lay-off of the Lisbon dockworkers, who are currently on strike against the Port Law and the work agreement proposed by the bosses, which would allow a dramatic increase in the casualisation of workers and deeply cut the salaries and rights of the workers, opening the way for further attacks on workers' right in ports and workplaces across Europe. This lay-off could hit more than 320 Lisbon dockers and their families.

This horrific decision is the most serious attempt so far in a long campaign of fear-mongering, intimidation, blackmail and aggression orchestrated by the bosses against the Lisbon dockers, workers and trade unionists fighting for their rights and against the increasing casualisation and curtailing of rights in the workplaces.

The Lisbon dockers are on strike for a real collective working agreement which would stop casualisation, preserve their hard-fought and hard-earned rights and include the casual workers in the work contract, giving them the same rights as full-time dockers.

The Lisbon dockers have a proud tradition of internationalism and solidarity, leading and supporting the various struggles against austerity. They are organised in the International Dockworkers Council with dockworkers from around the world. It was this internationalist approach that allowed them to beat the bosses in 2014, forcing them to integrate casual workers into their collective contract and to revoke the sackings made during their struggle.

The dockers' trade union is organising a march against casualisation and austerity on 16 June in Lisbon. We stand in total solidarity with these dockers and we completely repudiate the brutal attack by the bosses. We urge you to send a solidarity message to the Lisbon Dockers Union and a protest letter to the port companies. Model letters are below.

João Félix and Gonçalo Romeiro on behalf of Socialismo Revolucionario, CWI in Portugal.

Protest letters should be sent to the Lisbon Port Operators Association and associated members, detailed here:

Solidarity letter


We have become aware, through our comrades in Socialismo Revolucionário, of the struggle of the Lisbon dockers against casualisation and for workers' rights, and the bosses' disgusting move for collective lay-offs as a brutal attack on the Lisbon dockworkers.

We stand in total solidarity with the Lisbon and Portuguese dockers in their fight for working rights and against casualisation, insecurity and low pay.

We completely repudiate the disgusting attack by the bosses and APOL (Lisbon Port Operators Association) with the collective lay-off of Lisbon dockers as the most serious in a campaign of fear-mongering, intimidation and blackmail against workers and trade unionists who are fighting hard and bravely not only for their rights, but for the rights of all."

Protest letter

To whom it may concern,

We have become aware of the collective lay-off of Lisbon dockers that your organisation is taking part in, and we consider it one of the most disgusting moves yet in in the campaign of fear-mongering, blackmailing and intimidation against workers who are trying to protect their hard-earned and deserved rights.

We completely repudiate the repulsive attack that your organisation and other APOL (Lisbon Port Operators Association) members are perpetrating against the Lisbon dockers, and your moves towards stripping them of salaries and working rights and into casualisation and insecure jobs.

We stand in total solidarity with the Lisbon and Portuguese dockers in their fight for working rights and against casualisation, insecurity and low pay."

Protest letters should be directed to AOPL (Lisbon Port Operators Association) and its members as listed above.