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 general strike on 13 February called by the three trade union confederations was strongly supported across the country. One of the main aims of the strike was to put pressure on the employers to come up with a better pay offer in the national cross-sector negotiations. However, the unions had a broader list of demands that also covered young workers, equality, pensions, public services, poverty and tax justice.