Arrest of Portuguese trade unionist is unacceptable!

(19 January 2011) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) and Public Services International (PSI) strongly condemn the arrest of trade union leaders and activists during a rally before the Prime Minister’s official residence in Portugal, on Tuesday 18 January 2011. We understand that police action used physical aggression against union members and also detained two trade union leaders who were taken to the local police offices. One of those arrested is José Manuel MARQUES, vice president of the EPSU Local and Regional Government Committee and member of the Sindicato Nacional dos Trabalhadores da Administração Local (STAL) of the CGTP confederation, which is affiliated to PSI-EPSU. EPSU and PSI are shocked by the fact that these trade unionists were apparently accosted by the police at the scene while they were peacefully exercising their democratic right of protest. EPSU and PSI strongly condemn this aggression on the part of the Portuguese state. We believe this hindered workers’ rights to freedom of expression in being able to protest against your governments unilaterally imposed wage cuts on public services workers. EPSU and PSI will undertake all necessary and adequate steps to support our members concerned, in terms of the coming hearing January 31. We demand an immediate explanation from Portuguese authorities about this aggression against both the leader and members of one of our affiliated unions in Portugal. Yours sincerely, Carola Fishbach-Pyttel EPSU General Secretary Peter Waldorf General secretary Public Services International For more information contact: Pablo Sanchez, [psanchez@epsu.org->mailto:psanchez@epsu.org] , 00 32 (0) 4 74 62 66 33 - {{[José Manuel Marques acquitted->art7341]}}