INTRODUCTION: Portugal's National Congress of Trade Unions began a four-day meeting in lisbon on Thursday (27 January).
INTRODUCTION: Portugal's National Congress of Trade Unions began a four-day meeting in lisbon on Thursday (27 January). But the absence of the pro-socialist "Open Letter" Movement threatened to break-up the country's single trade union confederation.
SYNOPSIS: Delegates from 269 unions representing more than 80 per cent of Portugal's organised labour attended the meeting. The Communist-dominated Intersindical organised the Congress. The "Open Letter" Movement refused to attend because it opposes the Communist control of Intersindical.
In the 1975 revolution, the pro-Communist Provisional Government decreed that the Intersindical was the only representative body of Portuguese workers. The minority socialist government revoked the law last October, opening the way for an opposition confederation.
Despite the dispute, several key issues were discussed. Inflation and the introduction of a new law, allowing the dismissal of workers were among the topics. New Party statutes will also be drawn up, and a new Secretariat will be elected during the course of the meeting.