Portuguese American Journal

Portuguese trade unions calling for general mega-strike – Portugal

The two largest Portuguese union federations have agreed Monday to call for a general strike for a date to be announced “very soon,” their leaders said.

The announcement was made by CGTP leader Carvalho da Silva at the end of a meeting with João Proença the leader of UGT. They didn’t advance a concrete date for the shutdown but said they would decide on the date on Wednesday.

CGTP, the country’s largest trade union federation, represents 727,000 workers in 81 unions while UGT, with about 500,000 members, represents 58 unions.

The CGTP and UGT had called for their first general mega-strike together in October 2010, which took place on 24 November last year.

The shutdown is a protest against the newly proposed government austerity budget measures for 2012 submitted to parliament on Monday by Prime Minister Passos Coelho.

The budget proposed reflects the measures imposed by the 78 billion-euro financial loan negotiated with Brussels and the International Monetary Fund last May, aimed at slashing Portugal’s deficit to 4.6% next year from the projected 5.9% in 2011.

The prime minister had described Portugal’s current predicament as “a moment of national emergency” on a speech broadcast to the nation Thursday of last week.

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