Two-day train strike affects inter-city lines to Porto and A

Twenty-two of Portugal’s inter-city Alfa rail services from Lisbon to Porto and from Lisbon to Évora and Beja were paralysed by strikes on Monday and Tuesday this week.

Thousands of passengers were affected by the rail standstill caused by a strike from CP (Comboios de Portugal) ticket guards and train ticket sales staff who want more money.

The basic salary of CP ticket staff on trains and stations is between 750 and 850 Euros a month.

Portuguese rail ticket staff union Sindicato Ferrovário da Revisão e Comercial Itinerante told Lusa news agency that 90 per cent of staff left their ticket booths and downed ticket punchers.  

“The strike paralysed all Alfa inter-city services from Lisbon to Porto,” said Luís Bravo, President of the Ticket Staff Rail Union. “All ticket sales for these services had been suspended.

“The strike was to send a very clear message to the government that we don’t agree with wage freezes,” he said on Tuesday.

Each Alfa journey between Lisbon and Porto costs 25 euros in second class (one way) and 36 euros in first class.

The strike is estimated to have cost CP over 8,500 euros in ticket revenues per train on each of the strike days.

Taken as a whole, the strike is expected to set the State-run company back 188,000 euros on the 22 lines.

“That’s certainly a lot of revenue when you consider that these trains always run full,” added Luís Bravo.

The strike which began from midnight on Sunday continued until midday on Tuesday but caused disrupted and delayed services throughout the rest of Tuesday.

Other main lines affected by the strike were inter-city links between Lisbon and Guarda and Guimarães and Braga.

CP estimated that 75 per cent of its ticket offices were closed on Monday and Tuesday morning.