Portugal: Day of action against austerity – 1 February

EPSU sends solidarity greetings to STAL, SEP and the other affiliates of the CGTP-IN trade union confederation who will be joining the day of action on 1 February.

Workers across Portugal continue to suffer under the third year of austerity policies imposed by the government under the shadow of the Troika – the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund.

The cuts in public spending, the destruction of over 700000 jobs, cuts and freezes in pay, including a minimum wage frozen at €485 since 2011, have failed to reduce government debt and have contributed to growing impoverishment across the country. As a new report from the ETUC reveals Troika policies have lead to an undermining of collective bargaining and a collapse in collective bargaining coverage. Social expenditure has fallen and inequality has increased with the top 10% of earners now getting 10 times the amount of the bottom 10%.

EPSU supports the various demands of the trade unions including:
• Repealing the changes to labour law
• An increase in wages of 4.5% with a minimum increase of €30 a month
• An increase in the National Minimum Wage to €515
• An increase to pensions and end to the extraordinary solidarity contribution
• For more and better public services rather than privatization and closure of essential services
• For policies to combat fraud and tax evasion and tax the profits of capital

A well-supported day of action on 1 February will not only be an important signal to Portuguese workers but will be welcomed by millions of other workers across Europe who continue to face the brunt of austerity policies promoted by their national governments and the European institutions.

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