AXA staff stage protest as unions say mass lay-off “illegal”

Insurance staff of Axa Portugal will be protesting outside the company’s Lisbon HQ this afternoon, backed by their union which claims the mass lay-off of 67 people announced earlier this week is “illegal”.

SINAPSA, the national insurance workers syndicate, says the summary sacking of 67 workers, which came “completely out of the blue”, should have been previously discussed with the workers’ commission, as per the terms of Portugal’s labour code.

Union leader José Manuel Jorge has also told Lusa news agency that the “lock-out” that has ensued at Axa offices – barring staff from even going into their offices – should be criminally punishable.

The situation “opens a dangerous precedent”, he said, not just for the company “but for the whole sector”.

Ironically, it is a situation that mirrors what happened in Vila Real de Santo António last month where 44 print staff were almost overnight told not to turn up for work as their factory was in danger of closure.

Litográfica do Sul has since revealed that it is applying for insolvency.

Axa’s reason for announcing the dismissal of its workers was “performance issues”.

Today’s strike at the company’s base in Avenida do Mediterrâneo, at Parque dos Nações, is scheduled to begin at 4.45pm.

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