Work stoppage paralyzes part of Portuguese public sector

Other News Materials 1 October 2008 19:42 (UTC +04:00)

A day of strikes against precarious labour conditions affected hospitals, schools, railways and garbage disposal in Portugal on Wednesday, trade unions said, dpa reported.

Unions said 75 per cent of their members followed the strike call, but government officials estimated the figure at 11 per cent.

Hundreds of schools remained closed, trade union representative Ana Avoila said. Garbage also piled up on the streets, and buses and trains stopped running in many places.

The 24-hour stoppage, which unions called a "protest," was called to press demands for better salaries and work conditions.

Portuguese employees have lost more purchasing power than their colleagues in any other European Union country over the past five years, unions argue.