Prison sector unions have called on the government to immediately restart negotiations over pay following the latest of six days of strike action which have had strong nationwide support from prison workers. The unions began the action following the new socialist-led government's withdrawal of funding for a pay increase. The unions now want to see bargaining restart and have been critical of the authorities for aggressive tactics in the policing of pickets and demonstrations around the country.
Strong support for prison sector strike action
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The STAL local government union reports that there was strong and widespread support for the strike organised on 27 October by the Frente Comum group of unions. Many administrative, waste and other municipal services were affected by the action which was called to put pressure on the government to agree to unfreeze pay and career development in the sector and act more quickly to reverse other measures taken during the period of austerity.
The STAL local government union reports a high level of support across local government for the one-day strike (13 March). The strike was the latest in a series of protests against attacks on workers' rights, pay freezes and in support of the unions' struggle to retain the 35-hour working week. Figures from STAL show the extent to which workers across a range of services have backed the strike including waste workers, transport, parks and gardens and administration. Strike action was also supported by other EPSU affiliates [Read more at > STAL (PT)->http://www.stal.pt/index.php/arquivomenu
EPSU's affiliates in the prison services - FSC-CCOO, FeSP-UGT and ACAIP-USO - began their planned six-day strike campaign on 24 October. The unions are calling on the government to abide by its commitment to fund pay increases in the sector that are needed to deal urgently with staff shortages and to address the question of major pay disparities in different institutions. The strike action follows a long period of campaigning, lobbying and negotiating and the unions have agreed that further strikes will take place on 26 October with a further four days in November (6, 8 13 and 15).