Portugal: solidarity with striking public sector workers

(8 November 2013) EPSU sends solidarity greetings to its affiliates STAL, SINTAP, STE, APIT who are involved in strike action today.

The unions are protesting at the government's latest Budget which includes further attacks on pay, pensions and other employment conditions. Nine out of 10 public sector workers will see their pay cut by between 2.5% and 12% depending on the level of salary. The unions are angry that public sector workers and pensioners are bearing the brunt of the cuts set by the budget.

The Portuguese people are suffering at the hands of the Troika - the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund - whose economic "remedies" are doing nothing to improve the situation.

Latest figures from the European Commission show unemployment set to rise to 17.7% next year while this year will show a further decline in the economy (GDP down by 1.8%). And all this is having a negligible effect on public debt which will remain at over 125% into 2015.

EPSU deputy general secretary Jan Willem Goudriaan said: "The citizens of Portugal, just like those of Greece, are at the sharp end of policies devised by an unaccountable group of "experts" - the Troika. It is not more austerity that Portugal needs but the mobilisation of European resources to boost its economy, tapping the accumulating profits and wealth that can help us out of this crisis."

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