This is a Portuguese video on the general strike of today.
From daily The Morning Star in Britain:
Portugal paralysed by 24-hour general strike
Thursday 22 March 2012
by Our Foreign Desk
The Lisbon underground, which carries more than half a million passengers every weekday, was closed.
Train, bus and ferry services across the country were few and far between. Long traffic jams built up on roads into key cities, though arrivals and departures at Lisbon airport were not affected.
Some secondary schools sent children home because teachers and auxiliary staff stayed away.
Health services postponed or cancelled medical appointments and government departments shut their doors or were short of staff.
Tens of thousands of trade unionists and their allies rallied in the centre of the capital in the afternoon.
The General Confederation of Portuguese Workers (CGTP), which represents 700,000 employees, called the 24-hour stoppage to fight policies enacted by the government of PM Pedro Passos Coelho in return for last May’s €78 billion (£65bn) bailout from the so-called troika – the EU, IMF and European Central Bank.
The Coelho administration has locked the country into a three-year programme of pay and welfare cuts and tax increases.
Unions are particularly angry over a reform to the country’s labour law that waters down workers’ rights and reduces severance pay.
The Coelho reform also enables bosses to impose “flexible” timetables and reduce holidays and overtime rates.
The policies have kept the economy mired in recession for a second consecutive year and pushed the official unemployment rate to a record 14.8 per cent.
CGTP general secretary Armenio Carlos has warned that the wave of austerity could result in many workers having their pay packets slashed by up to 25 per cent.
Mr Carlos, who is a member of the Portuguese Communist Party‘s central committee, applauded members on Thursday for honouring the action.
It was “a warning to the government that workers require the abrogation of the labour reform, which aims to convert labour into a mere commodity and workers into objects.”
UGT, the second-largest union confederation, did not back the general strike. But Mr Carlos said that it was for “all workers” regardless of their union affiliation.
See also here.
Austerity – Blunder of Blunders: here.