In Portugal, widespread industrial unrest is threatening to undermine the Government's economic recovery programme. In?
In Portugal, widespread industrial unrest is threatening to undermine the Government's economic recovery programme. In a show of strength, thousands of trade unionists took to the streets of the capital, Lisbon, to protest against the Government's eleven-month old austerity programme.
SYNOPSIS: One hundred thousand workers took part in the Lisbon demonstration - one of several taking place throughout the country. Nearly all the country's 260 trade unions took part in the march.
Portuguese workers are angry over the Government's pay freeze, which limits increases this year to fifteen per cent, and the rising cost of living. The protest is the largest show of strength against the minority socialist Government of Prime Minister Mario Soares since he came to power last year.
Meanwhile, the capital's one thousand two hundred dustmen have challenged the Government's freeze by going on strike in support of Diamonds for a twenty per cent pay increase. The demonstrations against Dr Soares' Government were called by the Portuguese Communist Party, which says it speaks for eighty per cent of the nation's organised labour.
The industrial unrest comes at a time when Prime Minister Soares has been holding a series of talks with the communist-dominated unions in a search for an agreement aimed at boosting the economy and productivity.