The company that runs the Metro Sul do Tejo (light-ground metro in the municipalities of Almada and Seixal) has asked the authorities to introduce minimum services during a five-day strike of train drivers that starts on Thursday.
Sul do Tejo (MST) subway drivers in the Setúbal area, call a full strike within three daysDecember 30 to January 1, 2023 and overtime on December 29 and January 2.
According to the National Union of Drivers of the Portuguese Railways (SMAQ), the reason for this stoppage, which will last a total of five days, is the lack of understanding regarding the company’s Agreement.
Metro Transportes do Sul (MTS), which operates this public transport system, has criticized the union, pointing out that the representative structure has stopped, ignoring wage increases beyond what was stated in terms of social consultation, and emphasizes that the strike will cause restrictions.
In a statement released this Wednesday, the company refers to having experienced two new strike notices granted by the SMAQ, in a relation that ignores “an increase in wages, determined for 2023, between 7.4% and 9.6%, affecting all employees of the company, including drivers who are members of this union.”
“While SMAQ believes that no need to define minimum servicesMTS has applied to the state authorities and is waiting for a decision from the ministerial guardianship,” he points out.
The company assures that, despite the strikes registered in October and November, the management did not forget to express its SMAQ readiness for dialogue and negotiationsin the sense of finding mutual understanding between the parties.
At the December 2 meeting, the union presented a proposal that included higher wages, improved working conditions, and negotiations on an agreement with the company.
MTS assures that it has shown a willingness to start negotiations in this sense, but, he adds, the union has now noted the strike, thereby demonstrating that “not interested in negotiations”.
In the advance notice of the strike, SMAQ cited that Metro Transportes do Sul “reacted too vaguely, without an objective and serious commitment to dates in terms of negotiating an Agreement with the company.”
“After previous strikes that took place in this company, in order to unblock the conflict, SMAQ presented a counter proposal of negotiations with the goal is to get closer to the position of the company. However, this was not accepted,” the statement said on Tuesday.
The scheduled strike will take place from 00:00 29 December 2022 (Thursday) to 24:00 2 January 2023 (Monday) for overtime and all services over eight hours.
From 00:00 on December 30, 2022 (Friday) to 24:00 on January 1, 2023 (Sunday), workers are on strike to do any work.