New strikes see Socialist government with “as much public sector unrest” as centre-right predecessors
Monday (October 29) sees further public sector ‘unrest’ after a Friday that closed schools and health centres throughout the country.
Teachers today are back with new forms of industrial action while in the health service, therapists and diagnosticians are on strike.
A year from legislative elections – with a State Budget causing endless debate – and the Socialist government that promised to abolish austerity has inflamed its workers to almost the same levels of discontent as centre-right predecessors.
Said Público on Friday, the only difference really is that the government – or certainly prime minister António Costa -seems “less concerned” than the man who had his job through the crisis years.
Taking the numbers on face value, this government has actually had many more ‘warnings of strike action’ than the one before it – but it has also seen more strikes called off.
“This new tendency could signify that unions – many aligned to the CGTP (workers’ confederation) and PCP (communist allies of the government) – use announcements that they are going to strike to pressure the government and try to negotiate.
“The syndical association of Portuguese Judges, for example, called a strike for October 3-4 and five days before cancelled it after having been received by the PS parliamentary party and learnt that there was ‘an opening for discussions’.
The other ‘difference’ is that this Socialist government has not yet had a general strike (a walkout by all unions, representing public and private sectors).
The inference being that there is still time.