Portugal Port Workers Strike

Published Jan 27, 2011 8:02 AM by The Maritime Executive

Portuguese ports grinded to a halt as workers went on strike Tuesday, in protest to proposed pay cuts, freezing pensions and increasing taxes for public service workers. Rail, air and other public workers are also striking, resulting in dozens of flights in and out of Lisbon being cancelled, bus and ferry links halted and all ports closed as a result. It's the latest blow to the country's already sputtering economy.

The cuts were proposed as a response to Portugal's mounting debt crisis, in an attempt to convince investors it can narrow the euro region’s fourth-biggest budget gap. Analysts predict Portugal’s economy may shrink 1.4 percent next year due to fiscal tightening. The parliamentary vote is scheduled for Friday and analysts predict easy passage.

The 24-hour strike is not likely to throw the government off course, but union officials say the move will be the most effective in more than twenty years.