Início » Portugal: Train drivers’ strike sees 678 out of 979 services cancelled by 6pm

Portugal: Train drivers’ strike sees 678 out of 979 services cancelled by 6pm


Portugal’s state-owned rail operator, CP – Comboios de Portugal, had on Thursday by 6 p.m. cancelled 678 services out of the 979 scheduled, due to a train drivers’ strike at the company, according to an official source.

Between midnight nad 6 p.m., it said, 301 trains had run, nationwide. Since 979 were scheduled, that means that 678 were not able to run, the same source said, noting that legal minimum services are being fulfilled.

The president of the National Union of Train Drivers of Portuguese Railways (SMAQ), António Domingues, who had called the strike, warned that on Friday morning “there could still be constraints” on services.

“From the moment that minimum services were decreed our expectation was that only those trains would circulate and that’s what happened,” he stressed.

Domingues said that union members are now waiting for “developments” from the financial supervisor, but that for now there no one at CP had been in touch for negotiations.

SMAQ members wer on Thursday on the second and final day of an all-out strike that was to end at midnight.

On Monday, train drivers began an overtime and rest-day strike, which is to run until midnight the following Sunday.

The SMAQ action is, according to the union, aimed at securing better working conditions and salary increases. It is demanding an “improvement in working conditions in the driver’s cabins and social facilities” and “safety conditions on lines and in engine rooms.”

The union also demands the “humanisation of shifts, controlled meal times and a reduction in rest periods away from headquarters,” the “implementation of an effective protocol for psychological monitoring of drivers in the case of collisions with people on the track and accidents”, the “recognition and valuing of the professional requirements and training of drivers in the new legislative framework” and full compliance with the existing company agreement.

It also wants “recognition of a higher category for SMAQ members who perform services in traffic monitoring bodies, and is protesting against what it describes as “the absurd discrimination of operational categories in terms of time off during the festive season.”

For Wednesday and today, legal minimum services have been defined for the Alfa Pendular express service and Intercity, Regional, InterRegional and International services, and suburban services in Porto, Coimbra and Lisbon.

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