Metropolitano de Lisboa workers on partial strike Thursday morning

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The Metropolitano de Lisboa workers will be on strike on Thursday morning, between 5:00 a.m. and 9:30 a.m., due to the lack of understanding with the administration in the negotiation process about the company agreement, FECTRANS announced today.

“If nothing is done until the 18th [Thursday], although the company has committed to try to make an increased effort until that date, if nothing is done, yes, the strike will continue and on the 18th the Metropolitano will only open its doors close to 10:00,” said Sara Gligó, from the Federation of Transport and Communications Unions (FECTRANS), in statements to Lusa news agency.

The FECTRANS official was speaking after a meeting between Metropolitano de Lisboa management and the unions representing the workers, who brought to the negotiating table the partial strike notice for next Thursday, May 18.

“For now, the strike is still on, and we don’t even have any minimum service decreed for the circulation of trains”, informed the union member, mentioning that the protest action of the workers takes place between 05:00 and 09:30, however, for logistical reasons, the Metropolitano should only open its doors around 10:00.

Due to the specificity of their schedules, the workshop workers begin the partial strike period at 02:30.

Since the agreement reached in November 2022 between the unions and the company’s management on the demands for this year, this will be the first stoppage with an impact on the circulation of trains, since the workers have been on strike for overtime work and special events since last year.

Under normal operating conditions, the Lisbon Underground is open from 06:30 and until 01:00, every day, including weekends and holidays.

“The company today announced some of the measures that were authorized by the supervising authority, therefore, the possibility of opening the career regulation and that interim increase that the Government had already announced of 1% in the wage bill for workers,” said Sara Gligó, indicating that this was another negotiation meeting among those scheduled for the company agreement.

“We haven’t reached an agreement yet”, reinforced the FECTRANS responsible, explaining that the measures presented by the company’s management are “far below” the negotiation proposal submitted by all union organizations.

Besides the monetary issues, “there are other matters, namely issues that are in the management sphere of the company alone, that we could try to reach an understanding on, but that has not yet been possible.

At the meeting, the unions representing the workers handed in two other strike notices, one for May 23 and another for May 30, which will also be partial, for the same periods and in the same way as the strike called for Thursday, and that “the demands are the same,” the union leader stressed.

“We always hope that the company has the capacity to achieve the workers’ demands, therefore, we will analyze at each moment all the proposals that are made and we will decide according to the workers’ decision”, Sara Gligó said.

In terms of adhesion to the strike, the perspective is that “it will be total, because the workers had also already given signals that we would have to intensify the struggle,” he stressed.

When questioned about the impact of the strike at a time of constraints to the circulation of the Metro due to the works in the Yellow and Green lines, the responsible for FECTRANS said she expected the understanding of the users for the inconvenience caused.

“Obviously, we expect to cause some inconvenience, but we don’t have any way around it. We would have a way, if we could reach an understanding with the administration,” he added.

The unions representing the workers are STRUP (Union of Road and Urban Transport Workers of Portugal), which is affiliated to FECTRANS, STTM (Union of Traction Workers of the Lisbon Metro), SINDEM (Union of Maintenance Workers of the Metro), SITRA (Union of Transport Workers), SITESE (Union of Service Sector Workers) and STMETRO (Union of Workers of the Lisbon Metro).

Pp requested information from the administration of the Lisbon Metro about the meeting with the unions, and is still waiting for a reply.

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