90% of border agency’s office staff stage 24-hour strike

Taking a stand against what they call the “slow death” of a service that desperately needs to be “modernised”, around 90% of non-police workers from the national border agency (SEF) went on a 24-hour strike on Friday (June 23), according to their union.

At issue is the “hopeless inefficiency” of SEF’s services, which has affected the number of Golden Visas being granted and, in “extreme cases”, jeopardised matters relating to “national security”.

In other words, the agency’s non-police force, which deals mostly with office matters such as documentation, claims that an urgent revamp is needed to bring its services into the 21st century.

It adds that many times the state-led force resorts to “unqualified and temporary human resources” to make up for the services’ failures, which could easily be solved with a “simple reform of its services, with minimum costs and increased efficiency and profit”.

Manuela Niza, head of the union of non-police SEF workers, told Lusa news agency that some SEF police inspectors also took part in the strike, proving that this was not a “strike against co-workers” but in favour of “dignifying SEF’s services”.

However, a source from SEF told Lusa that the strike did not involve as many workers as the union stated, refusing to make any further comment.

According to Lusa, around half of SEF’s 1,200 employees work in the agency’s office services, which deal with passports, residency permits and the granting of Golden Visas.

[email protected]