Hypermarket workers to strike on Christmas Eve

A union representing hypermarket workers has issued a notice to strike on Christmas Eve over a proposal to increase normal working hours to 60 hours a week.

The decision to increase hours has been proposed by the Portuguese Association of Distribution Companies (APED).

The change of hours has also been discussed in three separate meetings with workers’ trade union, CESP, which represents around one quarter of supermarket workers.  Employers say they need to have more flexibility by extending normal working hours up to four hours per day and to provide more short term contracts.

The union is fighting for more humane working conditions, claiming that extended working hours will affect particularly working mothers. An agreement would have to be reached by both parties for the changes in working hours to go ahead.