The long-promised government reform of Portugal’s public administration, the most significant in 30 years, has been given the thumbs-down by workers. Proposals, which were approved in principle last year, have finally been published in detail, but trade unions believe they will lead to a massive jump in unemployment.
The programme aims to use the redeployment of workers in a bid to reduce what the government says is over manning and the number of unnecessary public bodies.
Trade union leader Bettencourt Picanco, who represents white collar technical staff, said: “This is so serious that the union will on Monday take legal steps to get these measures cancelled, including this idea of forming a list of so called unneeded jobs .There’s no clear criteria and the numbers are arbitrary.”
A series of demonstrations have already been held. The proposals will reduce the number of public bodies from 518 to 332, affecting around 500,000 staff. The government says job mobility and retraining should take up the slack, avoiding any forced redundancies.