By 2019-08-09 InPortugal

Chaotic scenes as drivers go into panic mode over looming truckers’ strike

Chaotic scenes at fuel stations all over the country have ensured that the run-up to Monday’s scheduled truckers’ strike is as ugly and frustrating as it could get.

Newspapers are already reporting ‘altercations’ at the pumps as drivers go into panic mode to fill their tanks.

Up and down the country, lines of seething motorists can be seen trailing back from fuel stations – in quite a few cases involving horn honking and the exchange of insults

PSP police have actioned a ‘safety strategy’ that will reinforce the presence of agents in as many ‘trouble spots’ as can be covered, writes Correio da Manhã which features a picture this morning of one man wheeling a shopping trolley loaded with jerrycans of fuel away from a Repsol station in Lisbon.

“These kind of attitudes are liable to fines”, warns DECO – but the scenes in the capital yesterday were such that the situation rapidly descended into a kind of Dantesque free-for-all.

PSP syndicate president Paulo Rodrigues has stressed that police reinforcements will also be drafted in to assure “strategic sectors”, like hypermarkets and airports “to prevent sabotage, looting and public disorder”.

Towns the length and breadth of the Algarve woke up to this gathering storm yesterday, and last night the queues of people still trying to fill tanks were cluttering roads and thoroughfares creating an atmosphere that totally jars with the normal feeling of summer.

As police and military are being ‘trained up’ to take over driving duties from Monday, the focus now is on the chance of a last minute ‘truce’ that could come over the weekend.

Pedro Pardal Henriques – the lawyer whose involvement in the cause appears has been powering truckers’ strategies since early this year – says employers’ association ANTRAM has until Saturday (when syndicates are due to finalise strike plans) to come up with a new proposal.

Thus the ‘ball’ would now appear to be back in employers’ court.
For a background to this labour struggle and a brief outline into the contingency plans that will be kicking in on Monday (click here).

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