Portugal’s truck drivers call off strike to negotiate with employers
Drivers of “dangerous materials” have called off their indefinite strike in order to begin negotiations with their employers.
The news was confirmed by Pedro Pardal Henriques, vice-president of the union of drivers of dangerous materials (SNMMP), on Sunday.
“Given that all conditions are in place to negotiate with ANTRAM (employers’ association) and the government, it was decided that the strike would be called off,” he told reporters yesterday.
It was the announcement that everyone was waiting for after seven days of a strike that drastically limited the amount of fuel available to the population.
During the strike, drivers were limited to just 15 litres of fuel at the special filling stations (REPA stations) and 25 at all the others.
However, this isn’t the end of the story by any means.
SNMMP says that if the talks with ANTRAM are unsuccessful, the strike may continue on weekends, bank holidays and during overtime hours.
The first meeting between the truckers and employers is scheduled for Tuesday at 4pm at the Ministry of Infrastructures.
ANTRAM spokesperson André Almeida says the association is willing to listen to the “legitimate demands” of the truckers although he adds that companies cannot accept “salary increases” that may lead to “mass layoffs or company closures”.
Meantime, Prime Minister António Costa has celebrated the end of the strike and praised the “civility” of the Portuguese people while enduring a week of fuel shortages.