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Portugal – Ports paralyzed over temporary work

15 August 2012

The main Portuguese ports were paralyzed Tuesday by a dock strike in protest against government measures to liberalize their working conditions. Started at midnight Monday, the strike affected three main ports in country including Lisbon Aveiro.

Dockworkers were protesting against a government proposal to set up contracts for temporary work and encourage intermittent employment as necessary for each port. These measures are aimed at improving the competitiveness of labour relative to the competition, including Spain.

According to the Confederation of Port and Maritime Unions (Fesmarpor), which represents between 600 and 800 people, activity in the ports was "completely paralyzed" because of the strike. This strike demonstrates the total rejection of the government proposals according to Vitor Dias Vice President of the Union.

What the government wants is to fire about 50 per cent of port workers and draw workers without any qualification to perform other tasks, he said, adding that the Portuguese dockworkers had received support from delegations representing their French and Spanish counterparts.

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