Tuesday Jun 19, 201206:09 PM GMT
Portuguese ferry workers strike over austerity measures
Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:2PM
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Portugal workers have launched a strike to protest against the government’s unpopular austerity measures and working conditions, Press TV reports.

The trade union of ferry workers in Lisbon, Portugal, walked off their jobs on Monday to oppose the government’s economic policies and working conditions, including austerity measures cutting both Christmas and vacation bonuses, Press TV reports.

Transportation services have come to a halt during the hours of strike -- called a "partial" strike -- from 6 to 10 am and from 4 to 9 pm.

Unions have expressed their willingness to negotiate, but criticized the government for its lack of good will.

This comes as Portuguese demonstrators took to Lisbon’s streets on Sunday condemning the center-right government’s financial policies, which are in place to fulfill conditions set by the European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund in return for a 78-billion-euro (USD-97-billion) loan.

The protesting workers argued that the budget cuts will cause Portugal to “go under."

Portugal's main CGTP union is opposed to changes in labor law reforms adopted by parliament in May, which canceled a number of public holidays and made it easier to fire workers.

Portugal expects economic activity to contract by 3.0 percent this year after dropping by 1.6 percent in 2011.

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