Fuel shortages ahead as delivery drivers threaten August walkout
Fuel shortages at the pumps are back on the cards, this time for Portugal’s peak holiday season.
Following the three-day walkout just before Easter – which brought the country to the brink of standstill – fuel delivery drivers have been in negotiations over their grievances with employers union ANTRAM.
But at their first national congress in Santarém on Saturday they announced talks were ‘getting nowhere’. A new strike date has been set for August 12, with ‘apologies’ to the general public.
In an open letter to ANTRAM, the syndicates of drivers of dangerous materials (SIMM: the independent syndicate of deliveries drivers and SNMMP, the national syndicate of drivers of dangerous materialsl) have “lamented the problems the strike will cause Portuguese citizens”, say reports “but believe the country will understand the truck drivers’ struggle”.
SIMM spokesperson Ancleto Rodrigues has accused ANTRAM of ‘bad faith in negotiations’ and of ‘not wanting to negotiate with independent syndicates’.
Explain reports, the truck drivers’ beef centres on the need for higher salaries and improved conditions for the sector that, in their opinion, carries huge and relatively unappreciated responsibilities.
The strike date notification is open-ended: the idea being that a moratorium on deliveries will continue ‘for an undetermined period’ until the new Collective Contract that drivers want is implemented.
Now awaiting ANTRAM’s response, the syndicates have also said they want a TV debate on the issue, to show the public exactly what this struggle is about.