Strike brings transport system to a halt in Portugal

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Strike brings transport system to a halt in Portugal

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Metro stations were empty across Portugal as transport workers staged a strike in protest at the government’s austerity package. The measures include longer working hours and wage cuts.

Bus services and ferry crossings were also hit with the rail workers union claiming nearly 100 per cent of their members had joined the strike.

“I agree with the strike but it is the people who are paying. Those in charge are the ones who do the dumb things, those who make the companies go bust, but we are the ones who pay for the tickets,” said Maria Albertina, one affected commuter.

The biggest impact of the walk-out was felt by railway passengers. The action is set to be followed by a general strike on November 24.

Portugal became the third country in the euro zone to seek a bail out in May after Greece and Ireland. The country’s centre-right government adopted the programme of austerity measures in an effort to reduce its deficit.