Portuguese American Journal

Community: Consular workers call for 13-day strike in April – Portugal

The union representing Portuguese public administration workers abroad (STCDE), at consular posts, diplomatic missions, and cultural centers, has called for a 13-day strike on April 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 11, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, and 24.

The union workers are demanding the revision of salary scales and protesting the lack of response from government officials to other “fundamental” questions.

According to the union leader, Rosa Teixeira Ribeiro, after several meetings with representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the two counter-proposals that the union presented for salary updating went unanswered.

The union has agreed to the amounts proposed for 70% of the countries represented, but many disagreements remained unaddressed.

“The last counter-proposal was presented on January 31, more than six weeks ago. It is hard to understand how such a well-monitored process suddenly finds itself at this stage where there is not even an answer,” Ribeiro stated.

For Rosa Teixeira Ribeiro, the situation at consular posts “is unbearable” and the tenders that are being opened present “remunerations that are not attractive.”

“We cannot be considered second-rate employees. We are first-rate. We do not accept the discourse that government resources have more to do with education and health. We are the only public administration workers abroad that are completely forgotten,” she said.

In the United States, the strike taking place worldwide will shut down services at the Embassy of Portugal in Washington, in addition to 15 Portuguese diplomatic representations serving the Portuguese resident communities nationwide, namely the Consulate General in Boston (MA); New Bedford (MA); Providence (RI); New York (NY); Waterbury (CT); Newark (NJ); Philadelphia (PA); Washington (DC); Coral Gables (FL); Palm Coast (FL); Chicago (Il); Houston (TX); Los Angeles (CA); San Francisco (CA); Honolulu (HW) and San Juan (PR).