festive plate
Portugal's association of meat suppliers fears that because of DGAV workers' strike "there may not be meat for Christmas..."

Strikes, strikes, strikes – Public sector workers limber up for major festive fight

Rail workers and veterinarians threaten Christmas and New Year

Just as is happening a little throughout Europe (as well as in the UK) Portugal’s public sector workers are preparing for a major festive fight.

From Monday various services of the State will be walking out, starting with workers of the DGAV (veterinary and sanitary inspections authority), which are threatening a strike until December 30.

In the eyes of APIC; the Portuguese association of meat industries, this is a prospect that could mean “no meat for Christmas”

In a dramatic statement, APIC claims: “With this strike of medical veterinarians (…)  either we will not have enough slaughtering to put suckling pig and kid (‘cabrito’) on our tables, or we will have to buy meat from slaughterhouses in Spain”.

APIC’s statement shows the association feels the situation is not being taken seriously by the government. 

Says Lusa, “in spite of having contacted the DGAV (veterinary authority), the Ministry of Agriculture and Food as well as the office of the prime minister, António Costa, (APIC) has received no answers to this problem”.

Meantime, a platform of several unions representing workers of CP – Comboios de Portugal (the country’s rail operator) and Infraestruturas de Portugal (IP – the country’s road and rail infrastructure manager) has called a strike for December 23 and 26, “demanding a financial bonus, among other claims”.

The two days of strike action will both last 24-hours, and provide for “a strike on overtime work, including holidays and weekly rest days, from 00:00 of 23/12 to 24:00 on 2 January 2023″.

The various platforms involved have said they are acting “in the exercise of their undeniable duty”, says Lusa.

With TAP’s cabin crew ready to strike again from December 27, teachers union STOP on an open-ended bout of industrial action – and hospitals labouring under a shortage of professionals (for which the health minister has promised a ‘contingency plan’ to be announced next week) – the festive season is starting to look complicated.

Elsewhere, today (Saturday) saw a mass demonstration of teachers in Lisbon, vowing a ‘new strike’ in January, alongside the current industrial action led by teachers’ syndicate STOP.

natasha.donn@portugal.resident.com