In the Portuguese capital Lisbon on Tuesday night (15 June) about 8,000 state employees demonstrated against a new government law forbidding them to strike.
GV ZOOM IN Crowd outside government buildings (3 shots)
GV PAN Demonstrators chanting
SV Banners (3 shots)
CU Poster on car bumper
SV Demonstrators reading poster (2 shots)
GV Crowd applauds
GV Demonstrators with banners outside government buildings, ending with applause
The Portuguese government took a hard line against the state nurses who struck in March. They sacked the board of one Lisbon hospital and threatened to sack more unless the board called in the police to make the nurses return to work, so the law against state employees striking followed the same style of government.
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Background: In the Portuguese capital Lisbon on Tuesday night (15 June) about 8,000 state employees demonstrated against a new government law forbidding them to strike.
SYNOPSIS: The demonstration took place outside the Sao Bente government palace, near where the cabinet was meeting at the time in Prime Minister Jose Pinheiro de Azevedo's residence at the rear of the building. In March some 2,000 state nurses marched through Lisbon in support of higher wage demands, but the same month the government revised a strike law and public employees have since bene forbidden to strike.
The demonstrators were school teachers, nurses, engineers and Lisbon municipal office workers. Earlier this month in an incident in the north eastern town of Braganca angry townspeople threatened striking tele-communications staff with violence if they did not return to work. But the stoppage continued elsewhere despite Transport Minister Jose Augusto Fernandes' warning that the strikers might be drafted into the army.
Portugal's economy has begun to revive but austerity measures are still needed to reduce a big trading deficit according to Finance Minister Francisco Salgado Zenha. The country's important presidential elections take place on June 27 and it is clear that any candidate who abolishes the law against state employees striking will get the vote of at least these demonstrators.